MoJo and the Magnum Foundation Join Forces to Showcase Documentary Photography

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It’s with exceptional excitement that I can finally squawk about the Mother Jones/Magnum Foundation partnership. This is a big step towards building out the awesome photojournalism and documentary photography for which Mother Jones has become known, to our website.

In partnering with the Magnum Foundation’s Emergency Fund, Mother Jones will be showcasing 10 photo essays through the year, giving a platform to projects documenting underreported stories from around the world. It’s a partnership that makes sense: the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund helps photographers complete documentary work that may otherwise not see completion. And upon completion, Mother Jones helps give an audience to the work.

Karen Mirzoyan shot our first project, The Unrecognized Islands of Caucasus, an appropriately complex project that examines the tangle of unrecognized lands in the Caucasus region. Mirzoyan’s work goes beyond straight, expected documentary photography, which he smartly realized wouldn’t do justice to such a complicated region, to a story with so many contours. The photography varies in tone and style to match the chapter of the story being told. Mirzoyan incorporates pieces of his notebooks he kept while working on the project. It’s a very intimate look at the people of the Caucasus, their relationship to their homeland — and to each other. Really, it’s an amazing body of work. It’s exciting to get to run it on MotherJones.com.

We will be bringing a new photo essay from the Magnum Foundation partnership to MotherJones.com each month. And we will be running at least one Emergency Fund project in print. My heart still lies with the printed page, so for me, that’s an important component of this partnership. Thanks for taking a look. This is just one step to help expand our commitment to documentary photography. We hope you enjoy it.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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