LIVE from NYPL: Seeing Ukraine
Photographers and curators discuss the complexities of bearing witness in Ukraine.
- Ira Lupu, photographer, visual artist, and curator
- Alex Majoli, photographer & member of Magnum Photos
- Susan Meiselas, documentary photographer & member of Magnum Photos
- Rafał Milach, visual artist, activist, photographer, and educator
- Fred Ritchin, Dean Emeritus of the International Center of Photography
In what ways do images made by Ukrainian and foreign photographers help others to gain a better understanding of the country and its people? Can photographs today still serve as credible witnesses to war and its horrors as they did in the twentieth century?
Susan Meiselas delivers opening remarks. Two photographers who have been working in Ukraine, Alex Majoli and Rafał Milach, will discuss their experiences on the ground and compare it to other conflicts that they have covered. They will be joined by ICP’s Fred Ritchin and artist/photographer Ira Lupu, originally from Odesa, who together curated the recent exhibition, “In Ukraine,” consisting of photographs, videos, paintings, books, and news clippings made primarily by Ukrainian artists and documentarians. They will discuss the crucial need for a larger understanding of Ukraine and its people through art and culture, not only through the lens of war.
Presented in partnership with Magnum Photos, whose photographers are renowned for their coverage of world events since the Spanish Civil War, and which is celebrating its 75th anniversary.
This event is presented as the annual conversation on photography generously underwritten by Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos.
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ABOUT THE SPEAKERS
Ira Lupu is a photographer, visual artist, and curator born in Odesa, Ukraine, and currently based in NYC. She is a graduate of the International Center of Photography, and Viktor Marushchenko’s School of Photography (Kyiv). Her work has been exhibited across Europe and the U.S., including Christie’s London, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Rotterdam Art Week, Dallas Contemporary, and published in the New York Times, Vogue Italia, and the British Journal of Photography, among others. A member of Diversify.Photo, she is represented on Artsy through IFAC Gallery, New York. In March 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she and ICP dean emeritus Fred Ritchin co-curated and launched “In Ukraine,” a fundraiser exhibition of Ukrainian photography and art. The show premiered at the Dobbin Mews gallery in Brooklyn, and is soon to travel to London, Paris, and New Mexico.
Alex Majoli is an Italian photographer. He attended the Art Institute in Ravenna. Majoli’s work focuses on the human condition and the theater within our daily lives. Majoli’s career started to develop after he photographed the closing of the notorious insane asylum on the island of Leros in Greece, which resulted in his first monograph, Leros. Throughout the years Majoli has worked as a photojournalist. His work is in various selected public collections: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art—Kansas City, International Center of Photography, The Margulies Collection at the WAREhOUSE in Miami, Snite Museum of Art, MUFOCO and Mucem. Among many other honors and grants Majoli has received: Eugene Smith grant; Guggenheim fellowship; Infinity Award; NPPA Photographer of the Year; Feature Photography Award, Overseas Press Club. He has been with Magnum Photos as a photographer since 1996 and is represented by the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City.
Susan Meiselas is a documentary photographer and member of Magnum Photos since 1976. She is the author of Carnival Strippers, Nicaragua, Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History, Encounters with the Dani, Pandora’s Box, and A Room of Their Own. Meiselas is well known for her documentation of human rights issues for over a decade in Latin America. Her photographs are included in American and international collections. In 1992 Meiselas was made a MacArthur Fellow. She is presently the President of the Magnum Foundation. The Magnum Foundation supports, trains, and mentors the next generation of in-depth documentary photographers and seeks to increase the impact of both historical and contemporary photography in the digital age.
Rafał Milach is a visual artist, activist, photographer, and educator. His work focuses on the tension between society and power structures. He is the author of photographic publications critically examining the control systems and strategies of protest. A key focal point of his is the clash between non-heroic gestures and ostensibly neutral spaces, which are in fact set against a political background of current events. The oppressive nature of the areas Milach investigates is reflected in architecture, objects, and suitably formatted social structures. Rafał is a co-founder of The Archive of Public Protests and Sputnik Photos collectives. He is an associate member of the Magnum Photos agency. Milach is based in Warsaw, Poland.
Fred Ritchin is Dean Emeritus of the International Center of Photography and was previously professor of Photography & Imaging at New York University for over two decades. He served as picture editor of the New York Times Magazine (1978–82), created the first multimedia version of the New York Times (1994–95), and conceived and edited the Times’s first non-linear online documentary project, “Bosnia: Uncertain Paths to Peace,” nominated by the Times in 1997 for a Pulitzer Prize in public service. In 1999 he co-founded and directed PixelPress, an organization that experimented with new documentary forms of storytelling while collaborating with humanitarian organizations such as UNICEF, UNFPA and WHO on projects such as the Millennium Development Goals and a campaign to end the disease of polio globally. His books include In Our Own Image: The Coming Revolution in Photography, After Photography, and Bending the Frame: Photojournalism, Documentary, and the Citizen. In March of 2022 he co-curated “In Ukraine” with Ira Lupu, an exhibition in solidarity with the people of Ukraine featuring work primarily by Ukrainian artists and documentarians.
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This program is made possible by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).