Susan Meiselas: Nicaragua

June 1978-July 1979

Photographs by Susan Meiselas. Interviewer Kristen Lubben and Alfred Guzzetti.

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Nicaragua forms an extraordinary narrative of a nation in turmoil. Starting with a powerful and chilling evocation of the Somoza regime during its decline in the late 1970s, the images trace the evolution of the popular resistance that led to the insurrection, culminating with the triumph of the Sandinista revolution in 1979. The book includes interviews of various participants in the revolution, many of whom Meiselas got to know while photographing them. Excerpts from these interviews, gathered during her return to Nicaragua in early 1981, accompany the plates in the book.

In 2008, on the thirtieth anniversary of the popular insurrection, and of Meiselas’s first trip to Nicaragua, Aperture published a new edition. Now, as the fortieth anniversary approaches, Aperture is pleased to reissue the book with an augmented reality (AR) function, bringing a selection of images to life via clips from Meiselas’s films Pictures from a Revolution (1991), in which she returns to the scenes she originally photographed, tracking down subjects and interviewing them, and Reframing History (2004), a documentation of her return in 2004 with nineteen mural-sized images of her photographs from 1979, to collaborate with local communities to create sites for collective memory.

A conversation with Kristen Lubben addresses the history of Meiselas’s work in Nicaragua, how it has been circulated, revisited, repatriated, and reconsidered—how and why it endures. Meiselas and Alfred Guzzetti, coproducer and codirector of Pictures from a Revolution, expand upon this as they discuss the layered content experience of AR.


Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 128
Number of images: 75
Publication date: 2016-10-15
Measurements: 10.75 x 8.5 x 0.9 inches
ISBN: 9781597113830

Photographs by Susan Meiselas. Interviewer Kristen Lubben and Alfred Guzzetti.

Susan Meiselas (born in Baltimore, 1948) received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MA in visual education from Harvard University. Meiselas joined Magnum Photos in 1976 and has worked as a freelance photographer since then. She is best known for her coverage of the insurrection in Nicaragua and for her documentation of human rights issues in Latin America, which have been published widely. She currently serves as president of the Magnum Foundation and is represented by Cohen Amador Gallery, New York, and Rose Gallery, Los Angeles.

Kristen Lubben is a curator, writer, editor, and the executive director of the Magnum Foundation.

Alfred Guzzetti is the Osgood Hooker Professor of Visual Arts at Harvard University. He coproduced and codirected Susan Meiselas’s film Pictures from a Revolution (1991).