A History of Magnum Photos in Ten Photographers
A 1992 MacArthur Fellow, Susan Meiselas’ documentary photographs situate themselves at the nexus of history, politics, ethnography, art, and storytelling. “My projects are authored but I’d like to think they are not authoritative,” she says. This piece is from one of her best-known series “Carnival Strippers” (1972-75); taken from waist-height, the photograph captures an unclothed, cigarette-smoking showgirl.
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Lauded documentary photographer Susan Meiselas has been working at the nexus of history, politics, ethnography, art, and storytelling throughout her prolific career, producing multi-layered photographic narratives about individuals and societies across the U.S. and the world. Sensitive to both the potential and limitations of images, the 1992 MacArthur Fellow approaches her projects aware of their inevitable impartiality and incompleteness, supplementing her own photographs with texts, interviews, archival images, and other forms of documentation. “My projects are authored but I’d like to think they are not authoritative,” she says. Among Meiselas’s best-known works are Carnival Strippers (1972-75), an unflinching, tender look at carnival striptease performers; Nicaragua (1978-79), bold coverage of the Nicaraguan insurrection; and Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History (1992-98), a book, website, and exhibition forming an archive of Kurdish history.
American, b. 1948, Baltimore, Maryland