Date of Lecture: 1994-10-14
Larry Towell, born in Chatham, Ontario, is a preeminent photojournalist. Nominated to the Magnum photo agency in 1988, he has been a full member since 1993. Over the years, his lens has captured subjects ranging from the intimate and domestic to the harrowing experiences of everyday people caught up in the unstable flux of historical events. Towell first traveled to El Salvador in 1986 as a member of a human rights delegation, and after ten years of reportage, he completed a photographic project entitled El Salvador (1997). Then, Palestine, which documents Towell’s stay in the turbulent Gaza strip, was published by Aperture in 1999.
Towell’s longstanding familiarity with Mennonite migrant workers, a community that resides for part of the year in Mexico, resulted in the publication of The Mennonites (2000). Towell’s ninth book will feature a collection of photographs taken of his own family. These photographs are largely set in rural Ontario, where Towell’s family resides on a seventy-five acre sharecropping farm.
Towell has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the first Roloff Beny Photography Book Award for El Salvador (April, 1999). Towell has also won a Hasselblad Foundation Grant (1999), the Oskar Barnack Award (1996), the Ernst Haas Foundation Award (1995), the World Press Photo of the Year Award (1994) and the Eugene Smith Foundation Grant (1991).