“If your pictures aren´t good enough, you´re not close enough” once stated Robert Capa, co-founder of Magnum Photos. Marcus Bleasdale is one of the world’s leading documentary photographers who is close to social, ethnic or economic conflicts around the world and got the Robert Capa Gold Medal 2015 for his reportage photography. He increasingly uses his work to influence decision makers and policy makers around the world.
His work on human rights and conflict have been shown at the U.S. Senate, The United Nations and the Houses of Parliament in the UK. Bleasdale’s work also appears in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Sunday Times
Magazine, The Telegraph Magazine, Stern, Le Monde, TIME Magazine, Newsweek and National Geographic.
He has also published two books: “One Hundred Years of Darkness” (2002) and “The Rape of a Nation” (2009). Bleasdale lives in Oslo with his wife Karin Beate. He is a long-term collaborator of ART WORKS Projects and a founding board member of Congo Kids Initiative. Between his travels, lectures and workshops he took the time to answer our Q&A.
When did you discover your passion for photography?
It was late in life and through the issues surrounding human rights and conflict, so I have since tried to use my camera to focus and highlight those issues.
Which of your projects/motifs opened the door to the art market/professional market?
I worked in Congo for over 15 years for many different organisations, but the most overriding one and present one was human right watch. The work I have done for them and with them in the region of central Africa has been highly significant in making my photography effective.
Who inspires you most?
Human Rights Activists all around the world!
How would you describe your personal photographic style?
I´m a Humanist.
What importance do you place on the printed presentation of your artwork?
It is essential as it is the way I present to many policy makers around the world.
Which is your favorite Hahnemühle paper and why?
It is the closest thing I can find to achieve results like in a wet darkroom process. Hahnemühle paper is full and luxurious and at the same time, real. My paper of choice for the Robert Capa Gold Medal awarded image had been Photo Rag® Pearl.
Do you have a dream project you would like to realize sometime?
I am realizing it!
More of the same, I hope.