Peter Turnley is one of today’s most accomplished photojournalists.
He has photographed most of the world’s major conflicts including the Gulf War-1991, Chechnya, Rwanda, the war in Afghanistan, the famine crisis in Somalia, the war in Iraq-2003, the student protest in Tiananmen square or the first democratic elections in South Africa.
He has produced portraits of the world’s most influential 20th century leaders: Obama, Mandela, Castro, Gorbatchev, Clinton, Eltsine, Chirac, the British royal family or Pope Jean Paul II among others. Born in 1955, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he discovered a passion for photography on leafing through a book by Cartier Bresson.
He first began at 17 with a photo essay on his hometown neighbourhood published by the magazine 35mm Photography alongside an assignment by Edouard Boubat.
Paris was a boyhood dream. He landed in 1975 with nothing but Edouard’s address. The two remained friends until Boubat’s death in 1999.
A graduate of the Sorbonne and the Institut d’Etudes Politiques of Paris (Sciences Po Paris), in 1981 he met Robert Doisneau and began working as his assistant. With Doisneau’s introduction, Turnley became a member of the renowned photo agency Rapho, working alongside many of the photographers of the French school of humanist photography.
From 1984, he worked on contract for Newsweek and for many years covered major international events in over 90 countries.
On his return from his travels, he escapes the stark realities depicted in his photojournalism, by continually photographing life in Paris, this city with its inhabitants, cafés, meandering Seine, facades and narrow paved streets that he fell in love with in his youth and has never tired of.
His humanity and his empathy have forged his reputation as an outstanding photographer of the human condition.
His photographs have featured frequently in the most prestigious magazines such as The New York Times, Time, the Washington Post Magazine, Paris-Match, Stern, The London Sunday Times. Peter Turnley’s photographs have won many international awards including several from World Press and the Olivier Rebbot award of Overseas Press Club for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad.
In 2020 he was nominated for the iconic Visa d’Or News award at the Visa Photographic festival in Perpignan.
A French citizen since 2019, he was invited to appear on the evening news on France 2 last Sunday 26th March on his return from Ukraine where he covered the plight of the population (open access in support of the ukranian population – Peter Turnley Ukraine Youtube)
Numerous books of his work have been published.
We are proud to present this joint project with Peter Turnley, alongside photographers who have made Editions du Désastre’s reputation for over 30 years.