The Spanish photographer Cristina de Middel, new president of the Magnum agency

The Spanish photographer Cristina de Middel, new president of the Magnum agency

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ABCJavier Diaz-GuardiolaJavier Diaz-GuardiolaCelia Fraile GilCelia Fraile Gil



The Spanish photographer Cristina de Middel (Alicante, 1975) has been elected as the new president of Magnum Photos. The famous agency celebrated last weekend in New York the 75th anniversary of its creation and announced the appointment of De Middel, who was also incorporated as a member.

The announcement came during Assembly general of the agency, which in 1947 inaugurated its journey with the help of Robert Capa at a lunch at the Museum of Modern Art. Cristina de Middel takes over from the position of olivia Arthurwho has had to deal with the toughest years of the pandemic in the position.

A success that precedes

The Spanish photographer joined Magnum as a candidate in 2017, becoming an associate in 2019.

According to the agency, De Middel “came to the attention of the entire world in 2012 with the success of his photobook ‘The Afronauts‘, after having worked for a decade as a photojournalist”, a job that did not satisfy him and that he ended up abandoning. «Subsequently –recalls the note– he has published nine titles and has exhibited his work around the world in places like the Rencontres d’Arles, the Perth Center for Photography, the Chobi Mela Festival and the Prado Museum».

One of the images of 'Los afronautas', the photobook that launched its author to fame
One of the images of ‘Los afronautas’, the photobook that launched its author to fame – Cristina de Middel/Magnum

“I feel, of course, honora and also aware of the responsibility,” De Middel said in a statement issued by the agency. “I’ve never been president of anything before, but if hard work and respect for the role and legacy of Magnum is what it takes, then I should fit the bill. I look forward to continuing the great work that the previous presidents have done, and bringing new ideas and enthusiasm to the group.”

A well-marked resume praises the woman from Alicante and ensures her a good role in her new position, National Photography Award 2017 and responsible in 2018 for the festival’s central curator PHotoSpain. De Middel studied photojournalism, graduating from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, and later studying a master’s degree in Photography at the University of Oklahoma and in Fine Arts at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. She also has other international awards, highlighting the Cum Laude Award “Martin Chambi”the Infinity Award from the International Photography Center (ICP) in 2013 and the prize that the PhotoEspaña festival itself awards for the best photography book of the year and with which she won in 2014.

“Something you have fun with”

It is early to know how his person will influence the agency, but his way of understanding photography will surely leave a mark on it, as he declared to ABC a few years ago: «I reaffirm that it has to be something you have fun with. This relationship of photography with suffering, with missions, with morals, does not go with me. we can only do a small impact on the big picture that we have to live. In fact, the more weight we take away from what we do, the more honest and genuine we will be, and the more doors we open without realizing it.

As an international photographic cooperative owned by its members, Magnum has a structured process for new additions. Photographers first join the organization as nominees, before becoming associates and eventually being inducted into the Magnum collective as full members for life. Together with De Middel, they have joined as associates to the agency Emin Özmen and Lindokuhle Sobekwa.

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