This program draws together a diversity of voices from today’s top photo agencies and collectives, expanding a discussion that is intrinsic to ICP’s current exhibition, Magnum Manifesto. Ed Kashi of VII Photo Agency, Katie Orlinsky of Prime Collective and Levine/Leavitt Agency, Larry Towell of Magnum Photos, and Shannon Simon, content director and the director of the Americas at Magnum Photos, will consider the meaning of the photo agency today, and how these collective bodies impact everything from the work and business of photography, to artistic collaboration, to photography’s relationship to human rights.
Ed Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker, speaker, and educator. As a member of VII Photo Agency, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and its compelling rendering of the human condition. Through his photography and filmmaking, along with his work as a mentor, teacher and lecturer, Kashi is a leading voice in the photojournalism and visual storytelling community. Kashi’s innovative approach to photography and filmmaking has produced a number of influential short films and earned recognition by the POYi Awards as 2015’s Multimedia Photographer of the Year. Along with numerous awards from World Press Photo, POYi, and other prestigious institutions, Kashi’s images have been published and exhibited worldwide. He has produced eight books, including Photojournalisms, Curse of the Black Gold, Aging in America, and THREE.
Katie Orlinsky is a photographer and cinematographer based in New York City represented by Levine/Leavitt Agency. She has spent over a decade as a photojournalist covering news stories and feature assignments all around the world for major publications like the New York Times, the New Yorker, and National Geographic. Katie has received numerous photographic awards from institutions such as the Art Director’s Club, PDN30, Visa Pour L’image, Pictures of the Year International, and most recently the 2016 Paris Match Female Photojournalist of the Year Award, as well as artist grants from the Magnum Foundation, Getty Images, the Howard Buffet Foundation, and the Pulitzer Center. Katie is a member of Prime, a global collective of visual storytellers dedicated to describing the human experience with empathy and artistry.
Larry Towell studied visual arts at Toronto’s York University, where he was given a camera and taught how to process black-and-white film. In 1984, he became a freelance photographer and writer focusing on the dispossessed, exile, and peasant rebellion. His first published magazine essay, “Paradise Lost,” exposed the ecological consequences of the catastrophic Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound. He became a Magnum nominee in 1988 and a full member in 1993. His fascination with landlessness led him to the Mennonite migrant workers of Mexico, an eleven-year project completed in 2000. With the help of the inaugural Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, he finished a second highly acclaimed book on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in 2005, and in 2008 released the award-winning “The World From My Front Porch,” a project on his own family in rural Ontario where he sharecrops a 75-acre farm.
Shannon Simon is a content director and the director of the Americas for Magnum Photos. She is the founder and director of Mantle Projects, a development and production company. She has formerly worked as photography director for Interview Magazine and photo editor for the New York Times Magazine. For almost a decade she was a producer for Taryn Simon, contributing to projects such as: A Living Man Declared Dead and Other Chapters, Contraband, and An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar.