News, Photojournalism

Magnum photographer Alex Majoli awarded Guggenheim fellowship

Image © Alex Majoli, courtesy Magnum Photos

The Italian photographer, who became part of the Magnum Photo agency in 2001, is to use the prestigious grant to continue to photograph the refugee crisis across Europe.

Alex Majoli, who was born in Ravenna, Italy, in 1971 and attended the Art Institute in Ravenna, will use the grant to continue working on his project, exploring “the fragmentation and polarisation of Europe’s identity as it grapples to come to terms with the realisation that it can no longer isolate itself from the crisis unfolding just across the Mediterranean,” Magnum said in a statement.

Alex Majoli’s work “focuses on the human condition and the theater within our daily lives,” according to his representatives.

Since its establishment in 1925, the Guggenheim Fellowship program has aimed to support artists and scholars in the humanities and social sciences. Diane Arbus, Adam Baer and Shelby Lee Adams are amongst previous photographers to be given funding via the Fellowship.

Majoli’s career launched when he photographed the closing of a notorious mental health asylum on the island of Leros in Greece.

Leros, the resultant series, his first monograph, was a mediation on the theories of Franco Basaglia, a pioneer of the modern concept of mental health, famous for having abolished the psychiatric hospitals in Italy.

Majoli’s early interest in psychiatric care led him to go to Brazil, which marked the beginning of his ongoing project Tudo Bom, a body of work exploring “the extremes found in the darker side” of Brazilian society.

With his most recent project, Majoli aims to invite the audience to question what is happening with the ideology of Europe as a whole,” he says. He intend to explore the nature of “xenophobia and the extreme right wing across the entire continent.”

Majoli lives in New york. He is a member of Magnum Photos since 2001 and he is represented by Howard Greenberg Gallery NY.

Established in 1925 by former United States Senator Simon Guggenheim, in memory of seventeen-year-old John Simon Guggenheim, the elder of their two sons, who died April 26, 1922, the Foundation has sought from its inception to “add to the educational, literary, artistic, and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding,” as the Senator explained in his initial Letter of Gift on March 26, 1925.

See more of Alex’s work here, and learn more about the Fellowship here.