Born in Washington DC in 1981, Peter van Agtmael studied history at Yale before moving into documentary photography. Largely focusing on America, his work considers issues such as power, race and class; he also works on the Israel/Palestine conflict and throughout the Middle East. He has won the W.Eugene Smith Grant, the ICP Infinity Award for Young Photographers and many more, and joined Magnum Photos in 2008. His book Disco Night Sept 11, a study of the USA post-9/11, was published in 2014 and named a Book of the Year by titles such as The New York Times Magazine and Time Magazine. His latest photobook Buzzing at the Sill is the sequel.
Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael was already taking a very personal approach to photographing the European migration crisis when the agency started work on its major group project – photographing one family as they fled from Syria to Northern Europe. Diane Smyth finds out more about the story, how it was made, and what the photographer hopes it can do.