YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The "Magnum’s Orient" photo exhibition opened at the Yerevan Cultural Center "Hay-Art" on June 18 to become an account of 45-years "behind an iron curtain." From July 18 1999 to July 16–2000 the exhibition will tour Armenia–Georgia–Azerbaijan–Uzbekistan–Kirghizia and Mongolia. Armenia’s capital is the first leg of the tour.
At a press conference before the opening of the exhibition–Deputy Director of the Magnum Photo Agency Diana Auberge explained the company and its history. Founded in 1945–it now embraces 60 photographers who have been taking pictures of both historical events and everyday life while traveling Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union for the past 50 years. "The pictures taken by the photographers are the most powerful documen’s of the cold war era," Auberge said.
The exhibition presents 130 photos by 45 masters. Antony Richter–Director of the Central Europe Program of the Open Society Institute–said these pictures taken in the East have been so far exhibited at Western galleries or published by the Western press only.
A BBC video film about Magnum’s 40-year activities was screened as well.
As part of the exhibition–the Magnum photographer Larry Towell will organize a five-day practical course for Armenian photographers in Yerevan. Towell said a catalogue of works by Armenian photographers is likely to be drawn up at the end of the courses to become part of the "Magnum’s Orient" exhibition.
The sponsor of the photo exhibition is the Armenian branch establishment of the Open Society Institute.