MacArthur Fellows Program

Susan Meiselas

Photojournalist | Class of 1992

New York, New York
44 at time of award
Published July 1, 1992

About Susan's Work

Susan Meiselas is a photojournalist who is known for producing fine compositions under chaotic, even risky, conditions.

Meiselas has worked extensively in Central America and along the Texas-Mexico border.  In her film on Nicaragua, Pictures from a Revolution (1991), she captured many of the wartime themes she had photographed there ten years earlier.  In 1975, she collected photographs and oral histories for a bicentennial exhibit on Lando, a company-owned mill town in South Carolina.  She has also worked with the Kurds, whose plight poses questions of nationhood and ethnicity, and has conducted extensive archival research for the project at photographic repositories throughout Europe and within Kurdistan.


Since joining Magnum Photos in 1976, Meiselas has worked as a freelance photographer.  She has also taught at the New School University.  Her books include Learn to See (1974), Carnival Strippers (1976), Nicaragua: June 1978-July 1979 (1981), El Salvador (1983), Chile from Within (1991), Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History (1997), and Encounters with the Dani (2003).  She has had many one-woman shows in New York, Chicago, London and Paris.  Her work is collected by both American and European museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Meiselas received a B.A. (1970) from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.Ed. (1971) from Harvard University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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