Great Journeys Through the Eyes of the World's Best Photographers
A gallery of photos from Magnum and the Aperture Foundation.
Band member at parade. Bangalore, India. 2016 © Alec Soth / Magnum Photos. "I recently went to India to study 'laughter yoga' in hopes of learning how to make happy pictures. But my best photograph still ended up looking a little sad." – Alec Soth
Magnum Photos and Aperture Foundation are both now very old, and both the world's utmost authorities on photography. Magnum – a photo cooperative founded by some of history's most iconic photographers – turns 70 this year, while Aperture – a nonprofit arts institution founded by history's other most iconic photographers – turns 65.
To celebrate, the two have teamed up for a super cheap print sale, asking photographers to pick photos from their archives that fit the theme of "Great Journeys". You can see some of our favourites below.
"This is part of a portrait series I created for Vogue at the tenth annual Afropunk Fest. I think black hair is beautiful because it can be shaped, shaved, cut, whatever. That's what I was trying to find – people who had that kind of hair and who embraced it and were proud of it. I'm not going to be answering questions as much as challenging ideas and preconceived notions and just letting the audience interpret what they want to. There's an aspect of my work that I want to be universal." – Awol Erizku
"The US government was trying to deport John Lennon because of his support for the peace movement during the Vietnam War, so I suggested we take a picture at the Statue of Liberty to illustrate that America was supposed to welcome people. Since Lennon's death, this photo has taken on a new meaning, as people think of John Lennon in terms of personal freedom, similar to the Statue of Liberty." – Bob Gruen
Cristina De Middel
"Great journeys start with great planning and a type of imagination that projects a better you in a better place and a better future. I started a great journey myself shooting the series 'The Afronauts'. I still remember the feeling of vertigo when I first tried to explain what it was that I was doing. In 1964, a group of college students – led by Edward Makuka Nkoloso, their science teacher – started training to become the first Africans to step foot on the moon. Thus began the Zambian Space Programme. Whatever happened next is not as relevant as the fact that they tried.
"This image belongs to the first shooting I did for this project, inspired by the Zambian Space Programme. I was in my hometown, Alicante, Spain, just a few miles away from my parents' house – a place that could be both the moon and Zambia. I was not sure of what I was doing, but I had a very clear idea in my mind of how I wanted everything to look. That's because I had travelled many times in my mind to both Africa and the moon, and I knew exactly how I wanted them each to be." – Cristina De Middel
"'The use of traveling is to regulate imagination with reality, and instead of thinking of how things may be, see them as they are.' – Samuel Johnson
"I was given a fellowship to photograph in the US for a year. I picked Arizona as my base, it being in many ways the direct opposite of my own country, Wales, in politics and in weather. I loved the friendship of the people and the drive and ambition in the state. Plus, I was in total awe of the space. It was a case of 'come see' – what would be there tomorrow?" – David Hurn
"The Million Man March took place on October the 16th, 1995, in Washington, DC, on and around the National Mall. There, African-American men came together from all over the US to collectively take a positive stance toward addressing the problems of their at-risk communities. They came by airplane, bus, train, car and foot; it was a call to the world at large that action had to be made to make our shared world a better place. They came to heal the negativity that continues to separate us." – Eli Reed
Jacob Aue Sobol
"I still recall my journeys to the east coast of Greenland as the greatest and most fearless ones of my life. I was only 23 when I took this picture of a six-year-old boy jumping off the roof, making a summersault and landing in a pile of snow. To me it became an image not only about the strength and courage of the children in this village, but also about what was happening inside myself. I had fallen in love with a local woman and decided to live with her family to be trained as a hunter and a fisherman by the Inuits. I had started a new life, a new journey that made me feel exactly like that boy jumping off the roof." – Jacob Aue Sobol
"As the dark clouds of crack cocaine slowly cast their destructive shadows over America during the early 1980s, I saw the urgent need to take to the streets as a concerned citizen and documentarian. Already, a number of young men I knew personally were dying at the hands of other young men I also knew. I felt it was my duty both to warn the youth of the dangers that I foresaw, and to use my camera as a tool to engage and document. Anticipating more death and destruction, I found that photography was the key that allowed me entry into the lives of young people. I would venture out to the local high schools and shopping districts throughout the New York City area, searching for young people to speak to about this growing crisis.
"To my surprise, almost everyone seemed open to exchange thoughts and afterward stand for a portrait. Those images, in fact, became evidence of the countless exchanges I would have; many new friendships were also forged as a result of these interactions. In making these often-posed portraits, I wanted to capture a spirit of friendship and love. Today, these images serve as a constant reminder of a time before the great crack epidemic that would change life forever." – Jamel Shabazz
"After the birth of my son, Casper, in 2004, I began a series of photographs that juxtapose radical representations of motherhood with idealised views of the American West. The project was titled after Adrienne Rich's seminal feminist text, Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution, in which she analyses the patriarchal construct of motherhood and discusses why it is such a problematic topic for many feminists. While some theorists would prefer to do away with the body altogether, Rich envisions a new rubric in which the libidinal value of 'tits and ass' is replaced by the uterus and clitoris, and women are positioned as the arbiters of their own bodies.
"This series was my attempt to visualise what that shift might look like – women and children wandering in blissful togetherness through the social space of shared landscapes. I made them mostly for myself during my first years with a small baby, because I couldn't relate to the depictions of motherhood available to me. These photographs opened up space for me to imagine a different way of being a mother." – Justine Kurland
"The title of the series that includes this picture, 'Of Mud and Lotus', refers to the idea of mud being fundamental for the growth of the lotus. It's about transformation, procreation and fecundity. I am interested in the resurgence of the feminist movement, but I don't make work that's explicitly political. The series is about fertility, and women's ability to give life, and breastfeed. My pictures are personal and intuitive. They mix observation and performance. I'm often travelling, but this picture could have been made anywhere." – Viviane Sassen
"Great Journeys", Magnum's square print sale in partnership with Aperture, runs from 9AM EST on Monday the 30th of October until 6PM EST on Friday the 3rd of November, 2017. Signed and estate stamped, museum quality, 6x6" prints from over 100 artists will exceptionally be available for $100, for five days only, from shop.magnumphotos.com.