Magnum Edgelands Medellín, a project undertaken in collaboration with the photographer Peter Van Agtmael, delves into the interplay between observation, technology, and the public sphere, all through the lens of Medellín's streets and surveillance cabins.
Titled "Documenting the Invisible," the project by the New York based photographer immersed him in a 10-day exploration in Medellín between March and April 2022. Guided by the local photographer Juan Fernando Ospina, Van Agtmael delved deep into the city’s urban landscape, aiming to capture the presence of surveillance tools and practices, ranging from CCTV cameras to watchful eyes adorning buildings.
The project's focal point was to unravel the surveillance dynamics of Medellín. Through his lens, Peter Van Agtmael captured the invisible, spotlighting the concealed cameras and vigilant stares that inhabit the city. The act of photographing surveillance metamorphosed into a mirror, reflecting the shared watchfulness that defines public life.
Medellín, where the feeling of being watched is palpable, Magnum Edgelands Medellín emerges as an essay on the power dynamics between observation and urban coexistence. Van Agtmael’s exploration raises pertinent questions: How does one capture the imperceptible? How can an image convey the dimensions of surveillance, both seen and unseen? The visual narrative he weaves is intentionally fragmented, relating to the very subject it seeks to see. Peter Van Agtmael’s project is an invitation to unravel the intricate threads that connect humanity, technology, and the ever-watchful eyes that shape our urban landscapes.
The project's culmination was marked by a thought-provoking 2-day workshop on visual narrative and documentary photography, a collaborative effort between Peter Van Agtmael and Magnum Learn. Held at the prestigious Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, the workshop drew participation from 10 photographers from Colombia. At the International Museum of the Red Cross in Geneva, a recent event brought together Peter Van Agtmael and Thomas Dworzak, the first two photographers of Magnum Edgelands, to unveil their perspectives on the project.