NYU's Department of Photography & Imaging Announces a New Program in Photography and Human Rights in Partnership with the Magnum Foundation


The Department of Photography and Imaging in the Kanbar Institute of Film and Television at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, has announced a new partnership with the Magnum Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting documentary photography, to create a new certificate program in Photography and Human Rights. The new initiative, comprising four courses offered in two successive summers, is designed to explore strategies to create effective documentary projects linked with issues of human rights.

“We are delighted to be able to partner with the Magnum Foundation to offer this important new program,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, dean of the Tisch School of the Arts. “The role of photography in the global struggle for basic human rights has never been more important than it is today. Experience demonstrates that one image can make all the difference. This program’s emphasis will be on the relevance of human rights law to documentary work, and how the photographer can develop projects that aid in the attainment of those basic rights.”

The program is aimed at intermediate and advanced students, including experienced professionals, who seek to hone their documentary and media skills in the context of human rights. Students will be taught to utilize a variety of media approaches while emphasizing new digital possibilities to create maximum social impact. Each course is four weeks in length and will be offered over two successive summers, beginning May 18, 2009. Students may choose to take the courses for credit or non credit.

Faculty for the program will include: Magnum photographers Susan Meiselas and Gilles Peress, digital media specialists Catherine Fallon and Elizabeth Kilroy, adjunct professor and human rights specialist Peter Lucas, and program director and associate chair of Photography & Imaging, Fred Ritchin, among others.

Concurrent with the program, the Magnum Foundation will organize lectures and film screenings on issues relating to documentary work and human rights that feature a variety of work, including projects by Magnum photographers.

For more information on this program, please visit http://photo.tisch.nyu.edu or call 212-998-1930. For more information about The Magnum Foundation, please visit http://www.magnumfoundation.org. To enroll in the course, please visit http://www.nyu.edu/summer/2009/summerny/enroll.html.


The Department of Photography and Imaging at the Tisch School of the Arts is a four-year B.F.A. program centered on the making and understanding of images. Students explore photo-based imagery as personal and cultural expression. Situated within a university, the program offers students both the intensive focus of an arts curriculum and a serious and broad grounding in the liberal arts. The faculty and staff consist of artists, professional photographers, designers, critics, historians, and scholars working from a wide range of perspectives and media.

Launched in 2007, The Magnum Foundation works to bring over half a century of historical and iconic photography to the public and to encourage the work of a new generation of independent photographers. Four pioneering photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger and David “Chim” Seymour, had the insight to claim their independence by retaining ownership of their copyrights. Now today’s independent photographers are seeking to build upon this pioneering legacy with a newly formed charitable organization, The Magnum Foundation.

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