It’s a commendable milestone by anyone’s standards – for 70 years, Magnum Photos has been at the forefront of documentary photography, photojournalism and visual storytelling, its members reporting on conflicts, crises and changes for humanity the world over. To celebrate Magnum’s long and rich history, the agency has devised Magnum Retold, a huge group project in which current members revisit stories by their predecessors. Photographers were invited to respond to an archival story that had influenced or inspired their practice in some way – a story that meant something to them personally, or a topical subject they wished to revisit. “There is a repository of amazing work, which is the 70-year-old legacy of these incredible photographers,” explains Magnum’s content director, Francesca Sears.
On the 14th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, we speak to Magnum photographer Thomas Hoepker who documented the destruction. His famous photo depicting the tragedy as a backdrop to a leisurely Brooklyn afternoon attracted controversy, described as “shocking” by Frank Rich of the New York Times for its apparent callousness. But, as is usually the case with Hoepker’s work, there’s more to the image than initially meets the eye.