Magnum Photos is looking for new members

Do you have what it takes?

A family takes a walk and goes fishing in an area in southern Malaysia now covered with giant sand dunes. The Danga Bay area is earmarked for a massive residency and commercial development, with much of the land reclaimed. Mangroves nearby appear to have been drowned by sand. The world is running out of sand as Asia’s rapid urbanisation is driving up demand like never before. Sim Chi Yin

Magnum Photos is one of the most prestigious photo cooperatives in the world thanks to high-profile members like Bruce Gilden, Susan Meiselas, Alec Soth and Elliott Erwitt. Membership is something to which many young photographers aspire And right now Magnum is accepting portfolio submissions for review during the annual member meeting in June.

Interested photographers should submit 2-3 projects, project descriptions, and a biography. Submissions should not exceed 80 images. The deadline to apply is January 2019. Magnum will announced the nominees at the end of June.

dinah dancing at home
Dinah dancing at home. Lua Ribeira

Becoming a nominee is just the first step though. The process to becoming a full-blown member of Magnum is intensive: essentially a four year process that involves creating two distinct bodies of new work that the existing members of Magnum feel illustrate a sense of authorship and personal vision. After the first two years, nominees are invited to apply to become an associate member, to apply for full membership—which gives a photographer voting power during the annual meeting—photographers must submit a new portfolio of work. Once a photographer is in, they are in for life, or as long as they choose to be associated.

South Africa. Johannesburg. 2015.

Thabang waking up in the early hours of the morning. Nyaope is South Africa’s “poor man’s heroin”. It is highly addictive and can contain anything from detergent, rat poison or crushed anti-retroviral medications. The drug has gained popularity among young black South Africans in the townships.

In 2016 and 2017 photographers like Diana Markosian, Cristina de Middel, and Emin Ozmen have been inducted as nominees. This year’s nominees include Gregory Halpern, Rafal Milach, Lua Ribeira, Sim Chi Yin, and Lindokuhle Sobekwa.

Obviously this isn’t an application that should be taken lightly, but if you’ve been working as a documentary photographer for a number of years, it certainly couldn’t hurt to apply.

One of the interiors of the Alphabetic Tower
One of the interiors of the Alphabetic Tower. In 2013, the Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company, which supported the then president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, had a television studio there. That same year, Saakashvili’s party lost the parliamentary election and the former president was formally accused of appropriating government funds. The Rustavi 2 editorial department was deserted overnight, becoming a giant trap for birds. Dozens of rock sparrows flew into it through a small opening in the wall. Once they were trapped inside, a combination of heat and starvation killed them. In 2013, president Mikheil Saakashvili was ousted and all his personal projects of accelerated change in Georgia were put on hold. Facade-like modernization covered the greatest number of political prisoners in entire post-soviet region. The series of images traces the abandoned dream of a man with almost unlimited power in his country. Rafal Milach
Los Angeles and vicinity. 2008-2015. From the project “ZZYZX”. Gregory Halpern