The Dannin Papers. In June 2016 I published a Guest Post by Robert Dannin, who as Magnum Editorial Director from 1985-90 knew and worked with Steve McCurry. Dannin’s article contained so much compressed information, provocative insider insight, and tart critique that I invited him to become a regular contributor to this blog.
Dannin, who holds a doctorate in linguistics and anthropology from the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris, has had a long, complex involvement with photography. He paid for his education in part by working as a copywriter/photo editor at Sipa Press in Paris from 1978 to 1981. He was news editor for Sygma New York and later the editorial director of Magnum, where he produced Sebastião Salgado Jr.’s “An Archaeology of the Industrial Age,” eventually published as Workers (Aperture). His other editorial credits include James Nachtwey’s Inferno (Phaidon) and the survey Arms Against Fury: Magnum Photographers in Afghanistan (powerHouse). He is the author of numerous critical essays about photojournalism. From 1995 to 1997 he served as special consultant on photography to the office of the New York Attorney General.