The People of Russia, Henri Cartier-Bresson

openDemocracy Opendemocracy
25 October 2005


Cartier-Bresson visited Russia in 1954 and his report on its people is arguably his greatest essay in this genre. In 1952 he wrote about his role as a photographer. With anxiety about the nuclear arms race at its height, he characterized his role as supplying photographs to "a world weighted down with preoccupations…one full of people needing the companionship of images."

This year World Press Photo celebrates its 50th anniversary. It seems a timely moment to reflect upon the impact of photojournalism and to contemplate its future. Things As They Are is a departure from previous histories in that it illustrates the story within a contextual narrative; with 120 picture essays shown as they were first seen – on the pages of newspapers and magazines - the book reveals how the events of the world, the art of photographers, and the interests of the press have converged on the printed page. It traces how photojournalism has developed over time alongside changing technology, media, fashions in photography – and a changing world.

Things As They Are is published by Chris Boot in association with World Press Photo.

Photojournalism and its Discontents : a discussion at the Photographers Gallery, London with Chris Boot (publisher), Adam Broomberg (photogrpaher, former editor of Colors magazine), Colin Jacobson (lecturer, former picture editor of Independent magazine) and Cheryl Newman (picture editor of Telegraph magazine), chaired by Claire Grafik. 7pm Wednesday 26 October 2005.

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