Ara Güler And The Magnum Photographic Agency

Various events are taking place as part of the “Ara Güler, Merhaba Izmir!” exhibition accessible to visitors with a 3D tour on Arkas Art Center’s website. A. Beyhan Özemir, Lecturer at the Photography Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dokuz Eylül University, talks about “Ara Güler and the Magnum Photographic Agency” at a program available on Arkas Art Center’s social media accounts.

The guest of the event broadcast on Arkas Art Center’s social media accounts was A. Beyhan Özemir, Lecturer at Photography Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dokuz Eylül University, a renowned figure in the world of photography.

During the live program, Özdemir gave an account of the story of the “Magnum Photographic Agency”, born amidst the uncertainty following World War II and which became one of the foremost photographic agencies of the world. As he recounted the history of the agency up to the present age, Özdemir also talked about how Ara Güler became a part of it at the young age of 25 years:

“When you picture an iconic image but can’t think who took it or where it can be found, it probably came from Magnum.” This is the answer to the question “What is Magnum?” on the official website of the Magnum Agency. There are two types of photographers at Magnum: Those who produce and those who take photos. The first ones work in studios. The studio of the second group is the world out there. They are impressed by the constant flow of life. They are always open to this flow of life and nothing looks ordinary to them. Everything in life is a source of nutrition for them.” says Özdemir and adds: “Ara Güler began to work as a journalist at Yeni İstanbul newspaper at age 22 and in general took human-centered photos, made news centered around humans. Founded as an independent photographic agency, Magnum is also known for its human-oriented work. Ara Güler had the chance to meet H. Cartier-Bresson, the legendary photographer of the time and president of Magnum. The coincidences they experienced after meeting and Güler’s perspective in photography impressed Bresson. Hence Ara Güler joined Magnum in 1953.”

Please find the video below to view the online program on the history of how the Magnum Photographic Agency was founded, details of how Ara Güler’s path crossed with the agency, the achievements of Ara Güler with the photos he sent to the most important publications in the world and the “100 Faces” (100 Yüz) project by Ara Güler. Enjoy…

The exhibition “Merhaba Izmir!” by Ara Güler, organized at Arkas Art Center in cooperation with Ara Güler Archive and Research Center (AGAVAM)  showcases photos by Ara Güler taken in İzmir and its environs, all of them shown publicly for the first time, in addition to his iconic Istanbul photographs, portraits of prominent figures in culture and arts both in Turkey and across the world, totaling more than 700 pieces… Cameras and objects from his personal archive are also displayed at the exhibition…