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“Good photography looks backward and forward at once”: Ransom Center hosts Magnum Photos workshop

By Steven Hoelscher

Between May 9 and May 13, roughly two dozen photographers will make the Ransom Center their home base for an intensive week of photographic study and practice. Some will be coming from Texas, while others will come from across the United States and from South America, Australia, and Turkey. Partnering with the esteemed Magnum Photos Agency, the Ransom Center is hosting its second Magnum photographic workshop (the first took place in December 2013; click here for a slideshow of those students’ final projects).


Once in Austin, the students will study with one of two Magnum photographers, Matt Black and Alessandra Sanguinetti. Each Magnum photographer will lead his or her group through a daily program of shooting, reviews, group critiques, mentoring, editing sessions, and learning amongst peers.

Alessandra Sanguinetti. <em>Rainbow and duck. </em>Argentina. Buenos Aires. 2001. <span id="yui_3_10_0_1_1461593386029_368" class=" ib ">© Alessandra Sanguinetti/Magnum Photos. Courtesy Magnum Photos.<br /></span>
Alessandra Sanguinetti. Rainbow and duck. Argentina. Buenos Aires. 2001. © Alessandra Sanguinetti/Magnum Photos. Courtesy Magnum Photos.


They will also study the Magnum Photos Collection of nearly 200,000 photographs from Magnum’s New York print library. The works of more than 100 Magnum photographers, such as Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, and Elliott Erwitt, are included in the collection, and will provide an important historical context for each student’s own emerging practice. Studying this collection is important, for as Black says, “Good photography looks backward and forward at once.”

Matt Black. <em>Resting outside a store. Mexico. El Ciruelo, Oaxaca</em>. 2007. © Matt Black/Magnum Photos.<br />Courtesy Magnum Photos.
Matt Black. Resting outside a store. Mexico. El Ciruelo, Oaxaca. 2007. © Matt Black/Magnum Photos.
Courtesy Magnum Photos.


The public is welcome to see the results of this work at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 13, when there will be a screening of each student’s photographs in the Ransom Center’s Prothro Theater.


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