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CAPA, Robert

Born in 1913 in Budapest (Hungary).

Deceased in 1954 in Thai Binh, Indochina.

Robert Capa is one of the most well known photojournalists of the twentieth century. Born Endre Ernö Friedmann in a family of Jewish tailors, he was forced to leave Hungary at the age of seventeen because of leftist student activities; he fled to Berlin, where he enrolled at the Deutsche Hochschule für Politik as a student of journalism. With no money, no profession, and little knowledge of German, he turned to the camera as a means of earning a living. In 1933, he moved to Paris, where he met Chim, Stein, and Taro. Quickly gaining a reputation for his photographs of the Spanish Civil War, his work was characterized as viscerally close to the action, as had rarely been seen before. In roll after roll of film in the so-called Mexican suitcase, one can see Capa move with his subjects, chasing the action, seeking to understand and experience events as his subjects do. In 1947, Robert Capa creates the Magnum Photos agency with Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and Chim (David Seymour).

Robert Capa’s work was presented at the Rencontres d’Arles in 1985 at the Espace Van Gogh and in 2011: “The Mexican Suitcase” (with Chim and Gerda Taro).

There has been a screening of Robert Capa’s work at the Théâtre Antique in 2012, for the ENSP’s (French National School of Photogrpahy) 30 years.