Brain Food #385

Magnum photos

Daily Brain Food.

Thoughts of the day

Magnum photos, one of the world’s first photography co-operatives, came to life on this day. It started two years after the end of WWII, ignited by the curiosity and underlying hope of its founding members to see what had remained.

In a day and age where the ability to take and disseminate images required time and effort, dedicating one’s life to documenting the world was an act of duty to others, and not of advertising oneself. This was their gift, and their challenge: much of the world was still left unexplored, and unseen. There was much to see and discover.

But how does a collective that promotes exploration survive today?

Though Magnum photographers were shooting ‘news’, they kept a subjective eye, maintaining that life itself is a story told in countless different ways, but every single one of them can still be true.

They wanted to show the whole story of life, through its fragments:

"There's no standard way of approaching a story. We have to evoke a situation, a truth. This is the poetry of life's reality."

- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Jonas Bendiksen chose not to travel very far, and instead used his family as the subjects of his story. The portrait of his wife, Anna, was selected as one of Magnum’s photos of 2019.

If you were forwarded this email and you'd like to receive more, head over to and sign up.
And if you love Brain Food and want the world to know about it, feel free to send them to the above link, too.
If you have any questions, thoughts, ideas you'd like to share, just send an email to
Read longer Brain Food musings on Medium.