A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers

047 - Peter Van Agtmael

Episode Summary

Peter van Agtmael was born in Washington DC in 1981. He studied history at Yale University, where his interest in journalism led him to take a photography course, during which he had an almost mystical experience and realised immediately that he'd found his calling. His work largely concentrates on America, looking at issues of conflict, identity, power, race and class. He also works extensively on the Israel/Palestine conflict and throughout the Middle East. He has won the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for a Young Photographer, the Lumix Freelens Award, the Aaron Siskind Grant, a Magnum Foundation Grant as well as awards from World Press Photo, American Photography Annual, POYi, The Pulitzer Center, The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, FOAM and Photo District News. Peter joined Magnum Photos in 2008 and became a full member in 2013. His book, Disco Night Sept 11, is a chronicle of America's wars in the post-9/11 era from 2006-2013. The photographs shift back and forth from Iraq and Afghanistan to the USA, unsparingly capturing the violent, ceaseless cost, but also the mystery and the madness, the beauty and absurdity at the core of each conflict. The narrative is complemented by nineteen gatefolds which elaborate on places and individuals. The book was released in 2014 by Red Hook Editions, a Brooklyn-based publishing venture of which Peter is a founder and partner. Disco Night Sept 11 was shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photo Book Award and was named a ‘Book of the Year’ by The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, Mother Jones, Vogue, American Photo and Photo Eye. You can still order a copy direct from Red Hook Editions. Peter's most recent book, the sequel to Disco Night..., is Buzzing at the Sill, a book about America in the shadows of the wars and about coming home from years of covering conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and trying to understand his experiences and his country. The work is a stew of reflections on war, memory, militarism, identity, race, class, family, surrealism and the landscape.

Episode Notes

Peter van Agtmael was born in Washington DC in 1981. He studied history at Yale University, where his interest in journalism led him to take a photography course, during which he had an almost mystical experience and realised immediately that he'd found his calling.  His work largely concentrates on America, looking at issues of conflict, identity, power, race and class. He also works extensively on the Israel/Palestine conflict and throughout the Middle East.   He has won the W. Eugene Smith Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for a Young Photographer, the Lumix Freelens Award, the Aaron Siskind Grant, a Magnum Foundation Grant as well as awards from World Press Photo, American Photography Annual, POYi, The Pulitzer Center, The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, FOAM and Photo District News.  Peter joined Magnum Photos in 2008 and became a full member in 2013. His book, Disco Night Sept 11, is a chronicle of America's wars in the post-9/11 era from 2006-2013. The photographs shift back and forth from Iraq and Afghanistan to the USA, unsparingly capturing the violent, ceaseless cost, but also the mystery and the madness, the beauty and absurdity at the core of each conflict. The narrative is complemented by nineteen gatefolds which elaborate on places and individuals. The book was released in 2014 by Red Hook Editions, a Brooklyn-based publishing venture of which Peter is a founder and partner. Disco Night Sept 11 was shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photo Book Award and was named a ‘Book of the Year’ by The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, Mother Jones, Vogue, American Photo and Photo Eye.  You can still order a copy direct from Red Hook Editions. Peter's most recent book, the sequel to Disco Night..., is Buzzing at the Sill, a book about America in the shadows of the wars and about coming home from years of covering conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan and trying to understand his experiences and his country. The work is a stew of reflections on war, memory, militarism, identity, race, class, family, surrealism and the landscape.