Magnum Photos: Bieke Depoorter and Olivia Arthur 2018Australian Centre for Photography
Magnum Photos photographers, Bieke Depoorter and Olivia Arthur, joined by Walkley award-winning journalist Helen Vatsikopoulos to discuss their distinct practices and the place of long-form storytelling in today's fast-paced, digital driven society.
Known for their in-depth and intimate approaches to photographic narratives, both photographers will share insights into their practice. From Depoorter's courageous and open approach to the documentation of forgotten villages located around the Trans-Siberian railway, to Arthur's intimate and empowering series Children of Europe, developed in response to Magnum co-founder David Seymour’s documentation of displaced European child refugees during and after World War II.
This is a rare opportunity to hear first-hand from two of Magnum's outstanding international practitioners on current approaches to long-form storytelling and the critical role of thoughtful and thought-provoking photography in today image-saturated landscape.
Depoorter and Arthur were in Australia as part of Magnum Photos and ACP's exclusive professional development workshops.
Watch the discussion here
University of Technology, Sydney, 1 May 2018
About Olivia Arthur
Olivia was born in London and grew up in the UK. She studied mathematics at Oxford University and photojournalism at the London College of Printing.
She began working as a photographer in 2003 after moving to Delhi and was based in India for two and a half years. In 2006, she left for Italy to take up a one-year residency with Fabrica, during which she began working on a series about women and the East-West cultural divide. This work has taken her to the border between Europe and Asia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. She has received support from the Inge Morath Award, the National Media Museum, Ojode Pez-Photo Espana Award for Human Values.
In 2010, she co-founded Fishbar, a space for photography in London with Philipp Ebeling. Her first book Jeddah Diary, about young women in Saudi Arabia, was published in 2012. She continues to return to India – where her long-term work has been supported by a grant from the Fondation Jean-Luc Lagardère in Paris – and to work in London where she lives.
About Bieke Depoorter
Bieke Depoorter was born in 1986 in Kortrijk, Belgium. She received a Master’s Degree in Photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in 2009. When she was just 25 years old, she joined the Magnum agency, of which she became a nominee in 2012 and a full member in 2016.
Her early colour photography work is the result of a unique approach: she captures the privacy of people whom she meets by chance and she gets to invite her into their homes. She captures indescribable, fragile and intense moments, always with kindness.
For the Ou Menya series, the young artist travelled for three months in Russia, to remote villages, guided by the Trans-Siberian Railway. This work won her several awards, including the Magnum Expression Award in 2009. Her first book, Ou Menya, was published by Lannoo (Belgium) in 2011.
For a similar long-term project entitled I am about to call it a day, the photographer went to the United States. A book of the same name was jointly published in 2014 by Edition Patrick Frey (Switzerland) and Hannibal (Belgium). With Sète#15, in photographs taken during an artistic residency for the festival l’image Singulières, it’s for the first time that Depoorter explores the thin line between fiction and documentary. She presents a nocturnal vision of the city, with a filmic dream-like atmosphere. Her photographs convey the muted pulsations of a sleeping city.
Depoorter finalized her first shortmovie ‘Dvalemodus’ in 2017, which she directed together with musician Mattias De Craene. The film talks about the everlasting darkness in a small village in the Northern Norway.
As it may be is Depoorter’s newest book, published by Aperture, Editions Xavier Barral and Hannibal. She has traveled to Egypt regularly since the beginning of the revolution in 2011, making intimate pictures of Egyptian families in their homes. In 2017, she revisited the country with the first draft of her book, inviting those who appear in the images, as well as others, to write comments directly onto the photographs. Contrasting views on country, religion, society and photography arise between people who would otherwise never cross paths. As it may be depicts a population in transition with integrity, commitment, and respect.
About Helen Vatsikopoulos
Helen Vatsikopoulos is a Walkley Award winning journalist who has worked for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and its international station, the Australia Network, and for the Special Broadcasting Service.
In a career spanning 30 years she has worked on programs such as the ABC News, the Midday Report, the 7.30 report, Dateline, Lateline and Foreign Correspondent. In that time she has specialised in International Reporting and has covered history-changing events like the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Communism, the Rwandan Genocide, the HIV-Aids crisis in West Papua, the Sri Lankan Civil War, the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, and the Bali Bombings — among many others. Her reporting on the collapse of the USSR won her a coveted Walkley award.
Helen has presented many studio-based television programs including Face the Press, News Extra, Talking Heads and Dateline for SBS; The 7.00 pm News and the Midday Report for ABC1 and Asia-Pacific Focus for the Australia Network. She has also made three documentaries: New World Borders, Getting Gehry and the award-winning Agatha’s Curse.
Presented in partnership with University of Technology, Sydney, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Communications, Media Arts and Production.
1. Olivia Arthur – Young dancer Freya shows some of her moves in her bedroom. Hull, England. 2017. © Olivia Arthur | Magnum Photos
2. Olivia Arthur – A woman lies on the table in the dining room of the women's prison. Tbilisi. Georgia. 2006. © Olivia Arthur |Magnum Photos
3. Cairo, Egypt. 2012. 4. Bieke Depoorter – Agata. Paris, France. 2017. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos