Yahoo! News Photo Staff
1968 was a seismic year of deep societal and political shifts. International issues of freedom from oppression, freedom of speech, political, sexual and religious freedom all came to the fore as student protests racked cities, declarations of independence were made, and in America particularly, the civil rights movement took hold and Martin Luther King was assassinated, while anti-Vietnam War protests strengthened.
Fifty years on, the Magnum Photos June 2018 Square Print Sale examines both the definition of freedom and the legacy of this quest for freedom through the work of Magnum’s photographers. The project includes iconic images that have defined and documented humanity’s quest for freedom over the past 70 years, as well as deeply personal images that symbolize creative freedom.
The selection includes Stuart Franklin’s photograph of Tiananmen Square in 1989, Bruce Davidson and Leonard Freed’s images of the U.S. civil rights movement, Robert Capa’s photograph of the liberation of Paris in 1944, Dennis Stock’s iconic image of the Venice Beach Rock Festival, as well as photographs by Alex Webb, Martin Parr, David Alan Harvey and Cristina de Middel among others.
“Freedom,” a new Square Print Sale from Magnum, began June 4, 2018, and runs until June 8 at 6 p.m. ET. Signed and estate stamped, museum quality, 6×6″ prints from over 70 artists will be available for $100 each from shop.magnumphotos.com.
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Alabama, 1965. “From 1961 to 1965, I bore witness to various demonstrations in the civil rights movement. In this photograph, a group of civil rights demonstrators march from Selma to Montgomery to fight for the right to vote. Freedom was then, as it remains today, something that had to be fought for.” (© Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos)
INRI Cristo’s disciples rolling him around on the compound grounds on his rolling pedestal, Brasília, Brazil, 2014. “‘And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free,’ John 8:32. These famous words from the Bible were ringing in my head throughout the three years I spent searching for men who claim to be Jesus Christ’s second coming. For INRI Cristo and his 12 disciples, who live in a gated compound outside of Brasília, INRI is the long-awaited Messiah. His disciples claim this knowledge releases them from the dogmas and misunderstandings that plague the rest of humanity. To them, to believe in INRI is the greatest act of emancipation.” (© Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos)
A hunter and his dogsled caught in a snowstorm on their way home. Tiniteqilaaq, Greenland, 2000. “‘Whoa, whoa!’ Hans stops the dogs. I can feel it too; the ice below us is thin. Hans ceaselessly hacks the ice with the handle of his whip to see if it can bear our weight. We’re on our way to a land-locked lake to catch trout. Last night, with five dogs in the boat, we sailed from Tiniteqilaaq to the edge of the Amitsivardiva Fjord, Norway. Without solid ice, the trip takes less than an hour. Today it takes five. When the ice gets too thick for the boat we continue by sledge. Hans once fell through the ice with his dog team. The current under the ice was strong and almost dragged him toward the darkness. Trapped in the icy waters, Hans thought he would die. It wasn’t until he thought of his daughter that he managed to gather enough strength to fight his way back to the surface. We can now see open water across the ice, so we’re forced to head for land and make a detour along the foot of the mountains. We slow down, as does our breathing, and our sweat turns cold. The rain pours down. The mountains arch above us, enclosing us, luring us further and further toward the end of the fjord where new mountains await new tracks.” (© Jacob Aue Sobol/Magnum Photos)
Bar girl in a brothel in the red-light district, Havana, Cuba, 1954. “I have been poor and I wanted to document poverty; I had lost a child and I was obsessed with birth; I was interested in politics and I wanted to know how it affected our lives; I am a woman and I wanted to know about women.” (© Eve Arnold/Magnum Photos)
Snowfall behind a shuttered K-Mart, Flint, Mich., 2016. “America calls itself ‘the land of the free,’ but fewer and fewer people enjoy the reality of that ideal. This picture is from Flint, Mich., where I photographed the aftermath of lead contamination that exposed a generation of kids to developmental delays and other health problems. When your town is collapsing, and you can’t afford to change your circumstances, then what does freedom mean?” (© Matt Black/Magnum Photos)
Children run in the wheat field and enjoy nice weather during the local traditional spring festival, Kirklareli, Turkey, 2017. “The cold winter leaves the Thrace region of Turkey and welcomes spring with its shining sun and warm winds. People connect again to nature by celebrating it every year during the first week of May in Kirklareli. When I shot this photo, I was running in the wheat field and enjoying the nice weather, remembering my childhood memories with these kids. For them, as for me, it was a moment of pure freedom.” (© Emin Özmen/Magnum Photos)
Saint-Martin-de-Ré Prison, France, Aug. 21, 1978. “There was an exhibitionism quite surprising in the prison courtyard: tattoos, bare chests, athletic activities. I then understand how detainees want at all costs to find at least in their bodies a way to assert themselves, a semblance of fulfillment, of confidence in themselves, a type of freedom.” (Extract from <em>Les Incarcérés</em>, Editions de l’Etoile, 1983.) (© Jean Gaumy/Magnum Photos)
Doud, age 11, Wolfsburg, Germany, 2017. “It was night when Doud boarded a small rubber boat. It was his first time seeing the ocean, and now he was amongst a group of refugees, escaping their homes in search of freedom elsewhere. Doud didn’t know how to swim and feared the boat would sink. A year later, now in Germany, he is with a handful of other refugees learning to swim as a way of overcoming their fear of water associated with the journey they made to Europe. When I look at this image, I see the trauma that accompanied Doud’s sacrifice. It’s a constant duality for me: there’s no freedom without that risk.” (© Diana Markosian /Magnum Photos)
Venice Beach Rock Festival, Calif., 1968. “Fifteen years since my first trip West, I have some new thoughts about gloryville. Every idea that Western man explores in his pursuit of the best of all possible worlds will be searched at the head lab — California. Technological and spiritual quests vibrate throughout the state, intermingling, often creating the ethereal. It is from this freewheeling potpourri of search that the momentary ensembles in space spring, presenting to the photographer his surrealistic image. However, to the Californians it is all so ordinary, almost mundane. The sensibility of these conditioned victims is where it is all at, right, left, up and down. Our future is being determined in the lab out West. There, a recent trip blew my mind across this state of being, as I collected images along the way to remember the transient quality of the Big Trip.” — Dennis Stock, September 1968 (preface to <em>California Trip</em>, Grossman Publishers, 1970). (© Dennis Stock/Magnum Photos)
Crowds fill up the Champs-Élysées on Aug. 26, 1944, to celebrate the liberation of Paris in France. “I would say that the war correspondent gets more drinks, more girls, better pay, and greater freedom than the soldier, but at this stage of the game, having the freedom to choose his spot and being allowed to be a coward and not be executed for it is his torture.” (© Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos)
Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China, 1989. “‘Man is free, but men aren’t. There are no limits to the freedom of one, there is no freedom for all. All is an empty room, a clumsy abstraction until one finds one’s independence is lost’ — Louis Aragon (1925). This photograph was taken in late May 1989, during the Tiananmen Square uprising, led by Chinese students and their supporters. They were protesting corruption and activating for freedom of expression.” (© Stuart Franklin/Magnum Photos)
Berlin Wall, Sunday, Dec. 31, 1989. “A few days after the fall of the Berlin Wall (the 9th of November, 1989), joy and enthusiasm were continuous. The euphoria grew even greater on New Year’s Eve. A very dense human tide had gathered around the Brandenburg Gate: warmth, embraces here and there … In this incessant frenzy, tears blended with laughter. People of all ages, backgrounds and nationalities were becoming closer as the fireworks and squibs exploded relentlessly. Champagne was flowing.<br /> After photographing the jubilation of this overexcited crowd, I decided to move to a quiet place. I glimpsed, hidden by a row of shrubs, a young couple sitting astride the top of the wall. They were surrendering to this intimate and peaceful moment to love each other and celebrate this new freedom.” (© Guy Le Querrec/Magnum Photos)