Thursday, September 10, 2009

Magnum "In Motion": Georgian Spring

The Magnum Agency, Magnum "In Motion" series is a great idea. This is a series of slide show photo essays by some of the world's greatest photographers. I've mentioned it here before (when I linked to Bruce Gilden's work, "Bruce has a Ball").

I think the series is at it's height when a group of the agency's photographers are tasked to take on one assignment. They've done this before, with superb results. If you are looking for a recent example of this, I recommend watching the "Access to Life" series that explores Aids in the Third world through the lives of patients receiving anti-viral treatments. In fact, most photographers interested in photojournalism (or well done photography in general) should just subscribe to receive all the podcasts -- that way, you see everything as it is released.

You can subscribe via iTunes or on their Website here:, podcasts

Magnum in Motion RSS Feed

This latest assignment en masse, released as podcasts yesterday (09.09.09) sends 10 photographers to Georgia to cover Spring, after a long hibernation, and the rebirth of a small country at the crossroads between Asia and Europe.

Georgian Spring (via XML Feed w/MP4 downloads)

There is also a publication in the works, which you can preorder here:

Georgian Spring: A Magnum Journal

To me, there is more room for freedom expression and dynamic content that tells a side story relevant to the central narrative in this project than something along the lines of, say, the "Day in the Life" series that descended on a country with a comprehensive mass strike -- the photojournalistic equivalent of "shock and awe" if you will -- to result in an even, but, at most times, predictable, surface level coverage glued to a central look.

Side note -- Perhaps, this surface level journalism is the reason why I had no regrets about immediately cutting up "Day in the Life of Russia" after purchase. I needed to complete a Broadcast Journalism assignment doing Ken Burns style video pans and slow zooms. (I recall a brief moment of silence when I got it back to the dorm room, and then I dug in with the scissors.) I was awed by the nature of the work at the time (the book was fresh out enough to be faced), but I think I kind of viewed it much like little girls view their Barbie Dolls. Studies have shown that girls are quick to mutilate their barbies long before other toys, and experts tie this response to feelings about the false and unrealistic body image that the Barbies promote.


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