from After the Storm

Photography, Expanded is a Magnum Foundation initiative inspiring documentary photographers to expand their storytelling beyond the still image. Through intensive workshops and panel discussions, photographers have been learning about emerging digital tools and methods in order to engage audiences across platforms and mobilize communities around social justice issues.


The Third Annual Symposium
Sunday, November 1st, 2015 at 9:00am to 5:30pm

Co-presented with The Photography Program in the School of Art, Media, and Technology of Parsons The New School for Design, this one-day event will present innovative documentary storytelling and emerging ideas in digital media and journalism on social justice issues. Presentations and panel discussions will feature leading media-makers, designers, and photographers such as Andrew Beck Grace (After the Storm), Katy Scoggin (CITIZENFOUR), Marek Tuszynski (Exposing the Invisible), Elaine Sheldon & Sarah Ginsburg (She Does Podcast), and many more! Gain new critical insights and connect with potential collaborators in order to respond to the changing demands of the field.

  • Exposing the Invisible is a short film series and interactive website that explores the tools and methods of managing the risk of Information activism by sharing the personal stories of individuals working on the new frontier of investigative journalism. Data visualizations, Resources and Narrative-driven short films illuminate the unseen tactics of investigative journalism online.
  • After the Storm is an immersive personal essay created on the fourth anniversary of a tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa, Alabama, killing 50 people and leaving another 10,000 homeless. Data visualizations, first-person narrative, archival footage and illustrations tell the story of what happens when we pick up the pieces and start over again. After the Storm is a collaboration between filmmaker Andrew Beck Grace and Helios Design Labs.
  • Empire is an immersive documentary project by Eline Jongsma and Kel O’Neill that examines the still-unfolding legacy of Dutch colonialism through a series of stories shot in ten countries over four years. Empire employs a broad range of storytelling techniques– including nonfiction filmmaking, multi-channel video projection, and digital storytelling– to depict the world’s first brush with global capitalism.
  • Recipe for Famine is an immersive documentary that explores the causes of famine and its human impact. Through virtual reality technology, this interactive documentary takes viewers into the epicenter of a famine in the making in South Sudan. Filmmakers Marcelle Hopkins, Evan Wexler, and Benedict Moran are creating a VR101 Toolkit for Journalists to make virtual reality more accessible to media outlets and independent journalists.
  • She Does Podcast features creative minds working in media. Each episode centers around women practitioners of all generations, working at the intersection of media, film, journalism, art and technology and offers a deep glimpse into their backgrounds, philosophies and processes. The show is hosted and created by Elaine Sheldon and Sarah Ginsburg, documentary makers who are interested in how their guests got to where they are today.
  • Magnum Foundation and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation are proud to present the works in progress of 2015 Photography, Expanded Fellows Peter DiCampo and Zun Lee and recipients of the Project Development Grant, Zara Katz and Lisa Riordan Seville!

Digital Interventions: A panel discussion on immersive digital platforms as tools for social engagement
Co-presented by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation and Aperture Foundation
Tuesday, April 28, 6-8pm (open to the public)
Aperture Bookstore & Gallery

Moderated by Chris Boot, with Lance WeilerLina Srivastava, and Christopher Allen

The widespread popularity of photo sharing platforms, like Instagram, marks the continued and increasing social importance of photography as a tool for both social engagement and communication. Viral hashtag campaigns, and other digital interventions, are harnessing the power of photographic and text-based collaborations as highly transmissible forms of visual activism. More expansively, artists, designers, journalists, and coders are working collaboratively to embrace the potential of complex data and creating highly immersive platforms.

How can image-based interventions inform, activate, and strengthen communities, not only on social media, but also in the physical world? And what are the limitations of digital interfaces to enact social change in the physical space? This panel will address these questions while exploring the process of establishing new models for engagement.

Disruptive Images: Photography and Intervention
Thursday, June 11, 10:00am-5:00pm
Look3 Festival of the Photograph, Charlottesville, Virginia

In collaboration with LOOK3, Magnum Foundation’s Photography, Expanded initiative will offer a project development laboratory that explores photography as intervention. Participating photographers will learn from socially-engaged practice and activist strategies to develop ideas for installation and intervention-based work that merges physical and digital environments.

Digital Narratives Lab 
Saturday, May 2 – Sunday, May 3, 9am-6pm
The Brown Institute for Media Innovation

Responsible Data Lab
Organized in collaboration with the engine room and Open Society Foundations Documentary Photography Project, this one-day hands-on lab is designed for documentary photographers and photojournalists working on projects that address critical social issues. Through interactive exercises, attendees will learn approaches for navigating the ethical, privacy and security challenges they face in their work in today’s rapidly shifting digital landscape. The Responsible Data Lab is programed in conjunction with the Open Society Foundations Documentary Photography Project’s exhibition, “Watching You, Watching Me“.

Photography, Expanded Meetup
Wednesday, February 11, 6-8pm
The Transdisciplinary Design Studio at Parsons

Attendees learned how design-thinking can be used to systematically approach any creative project to garner innovative, impactful results. MFA candidates from the Transdisciplinary Design program at Parsons led the evening discussion, using case studies from their recent studio work to walk through each phase of their design process.

Photography, Expanded Symposium
Saturday, October 18, 2014

Magnum Foundation and Parsons The New School for Design held the second annual Photography, Expanded Symposium. This one-day event presented innovative documentary storytelling and emerging ideas in digital media and journalism on social justice issues.

Presentations and panel discussions featured leading mediamakers and designers such as Elaine McMillion Sheldon (Hollow), Gabriel Dance (The Marshall Project), and #Dysturb, as well as representatives from global media companies and design agencies including Instagram, Atavist, and Purpose.

Read blog posts or watch videos from the Symposium.

Q&A – Future of Editorial from Magnum Foundation on Vimeo.


Photography, Expanded Lab #3

Creative Innovation and Digital Community: Art & Media on the Brink of Change
Panel: June, 20, 2014 (The Paley Center for Media)
Lab: June 21, 2014 (Parsons The New School for Design)

Documentary filmmakers and photographers who do human rights and crisis work have experienced drastic shifts in a web 3.0 world, which have dramatically enhanced the potential for audience cultivation and community building in the digital terrain. As a demanding digitally-fluent audience increasingly expects connection, transparency, and the opportunity to take action on crises or human rights issues, how should filmmakers and photographers  – and in fact any artist — recalibrate their practice to empower and activate communities through their visual storytelling?  In this interdisciplinary panel, we bring together photographers, filmmakers and cultural workers to investigate the newest intersections of art and activism.

Joslyn Barnes (Louverture Films)
Hank Willis Thomas
Pamela Yates (Skylight Pictures)
Nina Berman
Michael Premo
Moderator: Wendy Levy, Director, New Arts Axis

Participants in the full day workshop gathered to get to know one another, discuss the nature of interdisciplinary collaboration, hear about new tools, approaches and funding opportunities, and share their newest projects—all with an eye towards sparking meaningful creative partnerships with a new posse of filmmakers, photographers, and journalists. Digital Communities was an opportunity to break open participants’ process, begin a new project, inject new perspective into an ongoing challenge, and connect with new partners-in-crime.


Photography, Expanded Lab #2
The Story of Data: Visualization, Mapping, and Photography
Panel: April 29, 2014
Lab: May 4, 2014
Aperture Gallery & Bookstore, NYC

From smartphones to city power grids, incredible amounts of data are collected and monitored on a daily basis, transforming the way in which all manner of conditions are understood and managed with real-time, networked systems. How can documentary photographers utilize open data sets from governments and NGOs, geotagging, and locative media platforms to inform, enhance, and reinforce the intent behind their work? How can photographers safely access and share data in lieu of increasing online security threats? How might data visualization and visual mapping techniques help bring viewers, participants, and advocates closer to the issues? In turn, how can photographers measure the impact of their work using data or analytics? In this lab, participating photographers will explore the visual storytelling potential of big data and mapping, learning about digital strategies employed in data science, geography, and development that will support various phases of research, production, and evaluation for their own socially-engaged practice.

Paolo Cirio, artist working in privacy, copyright, and cyber-security issues (Street Ghosts)
Harlo Holmes, mobile developer at The Guardian Project (InformaCam)
Jake Price, photographer (Unknown Spring)
Derek Watkins, geographer and Graphics Editor at the New York Times (Riding the Silk Road)
Moderator: Stephen Mayes, visual communications strategist.


Photography, Expanded Lab #1
Collaborative Images: New Models of Authorship and Aggregation
Panel: March 18, 2014
Lab: March 23, 2014
Aperture Gallery & Bookstore, NYC

The rise of online and social media participation has not only created a sheer abundance of user generated content, but also new models for creativity, communication, and collaboration. This paradigm shift has notably taken place with the aid of photo sharing platforms like Flickr and Instagram, offering incredible new opportunities and obstacles for amateur and professional photographers to engage with diverse communities. It also marks a changing role for photographers as not only image makers, but also community managers and content curators. How might photographers build off existing online platforms and communities to generate awareness for the issues behind their work? How can photographers play a role in activating marginalized communities to share their own visual stories? How can we learn from the mistakes of failed online storytelling platforms? In this lab, participating photographers will explore collaborative storytelling methods, crowdsourcing, and curatorial strategies for developing community-based photo projects.

Madeleine Bair, journalist and curator of WITNESS Human Rights Channel
Michael Premo, artist, activist, and co-creator of Sandy Storyline
Brooke Singer, artist and professor of new media at SUNY-Purchase
Moderator: Michael Mandiberg, artist, designer, professor at the College of Staten Island/CUNY, and editor of The Social Media Reader.


Documentary, Expanded: Interventions in Social Media
Panel Discussion with Teru Kuwyama and Lev Manovich
February 25, 2014
Aperture Gallery & Bookstore, New York

The Spring 2014 issue of Aperture magazine, produced in collaboration with guest editor Susan Meiselas and Magnum Foundation, explores how the ground for socially engaged documentary storytelling has radically shifted over the last decade and how photographers might adapt. This event presented two practitioners, Lev Manovich and Teru Kuwayama, who extend the language of documentary by harnessing social media in novel ways. Lev Manovich’s data visualizations reveal how the billions of images uploaded to social-media sites reflect more than our photographic habits, offering what he terms a “mega-documentary.” Teru Kuwayama is one of the minds behind Basetrack, a social-media experiment launched in 2010 that connected soldiers stationed in Afghanistan with their families back in the States until it was put on hold in 2011. Moderated by Susan Meiselas, Manovich and Kuwayama discussed opportunities for rethinking contemporary documentary practice.

Documentary Expanded: Interventions in Social Media, Part 1 from Aperture Foundation on Vimeo.


2013 Photography, Expanded Symposium
To revisit the Photography, Expanded program from 2013, check out the video below.
You can also learn more about the participants and their projects.

Photography, Expanded from Magnum Foundation on Vimeo.


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Photography, Expanded is produced by Magnum Foundation, Open Society Foundations Documentary Photography Project, New Arts Axis, Aperture Foundation, and Parsons The New School for Design. Photography, Expanded is supported by the Open Society Foundations Documentary Photography Project, the Ford Foundation JustFilms, and the Compton Foundation.  The 2014 Symposium is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Splash image courtesy of the Living Los Sures project