The M.A. in Film Studies offered through the Faculty of Arts with the support of the Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Film Commission is currently hosting Professor Stuart Franklin who is delivering a series of lectures on documentary photography.
Stuart Franklin is a British photographer and former president of Magnum Photos, of which he is still a member. He is also a Professor of Documentary Photography at Volda University College, Norway.
Prof Franklin studied drawing under Leonard Mc Comb in Oxford, after which he studied Photography at West Surrey college of Art and Design, between 1976 and 1979. After receiving his first BA, Prof Franklin read for a BA in Geography at the University of Oxford, winning also the Gibbs Prize for Geography. He was awarded a Doctorate in Geography from the University of Oxford in 2002.
Prof Franklin’s photography deals mostly with global affairs, human tragedy and environmental issues. He photographed the civil war in Lebanon, unemployment in Britain, famine in Sudan and the Hysler Stadium disaster while he worked for the Agence Presse Sigma in Paris between 1980 and1985. His effort in documenting human strife has won him a Christian Aid Award for Humanitarian Photography in 1985.
He became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1989 after joining in 1985. One of the Tank Man photos he took while he was covering the Tienanmen Square uprising was published in ‘Time Magazine’ and for which he won a World Press Photo in 1985. Prof Franklin’s ecological concern was highlighted when he travelled with Greenpeace to Antarctica. He also covered about twenty stories for ‘National Geographic’ between 1991 and 2009, including Inca conqueror Francisco Pizarro, the hydro-electric struggle in Quebec and places such as Buenos Aires and Malaysia.
In October 2008, Thames and Hudson published his book ‘Footprint: Our Landscape in Flux’, which is a haunting photographic rendition of Europe’s changing landscape. In 2009, Prof Franklin curated an exhibition in Gaza titled ‘Point of No Return’, and has afterwards focussed on a landscape project in Norway titled ‘Narcissus’ and which was published in 2013.
Some of his recent projects involve working with doctors in Syria and immigration in Calais. His most recent book was published by Phaidon in April 2016 and is called ‘The Documentary Impulse’. The book revolves around the nature of truth in reporting and the drive towards self-representation spanning form 50,000 years ago with cave paintings and journeying through the various impulses that have guided documentary photography along its differing tracks for 200 years.
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