Tereska and her photographer : A story is a photobook featuring a fictional story by Carole Naggar about the extraordinary parallel lives of Magnum photographer and co-founder David “Chim” Seymour and Tereska Adwentowska, a young Polish girl who was the main subject of one of her most famous photographs.
In September 1948, while on assignment for UNICEF to report on European children, Chim photographed Tereska at an elementary school in Warsaw, Poland. Millions of readers saw Tereska’s photo when it was published in LIFE magazine in December of the same year, and were touched by his fate. During the Wola massacre, she was wounded by shrapnel and her image became emblematic of the fate of children during World War II. In the aftermath of the war, Chim tried to find out her name and her story. However, Chim and Tereska died before seeing each other again.
Based on historical facts, Tereska and her photographer: A story is a fiction constructed like a little opera, where all the characters in the lives of Chim and Tereska bring their different voices to the narrative. They understand: Tereska, Chim, Tereska’s parents (whose father was a freedom fighter during the Warsaw Uprising), Enrique Meneses, Jr. (a journalist who researched Chim’s and journalist Jean Roy’s death in Egypt) and several others.
The book presents a non-linear chronology, weaving vignettes of 1948 and the present with those of Chim’s youth and Tereska’s early childhood. David “Chim” Seymour’s photographs, as well as several anonymous historical images, are creatively arranged by award-winning book designer Ricardo Báez with striking typography by Juan Mercerón.
About the author
Carole Naggar is a photography historian, author, curator and painter, co-founder of and editor of PixelPress since 1999. A contributor to Aperture magazine since 1988 and Time Lightbox, she is the editor behind Magnum’s biography series, including those of Eve Arnold, Bruce Davidson and Inge Morath, as well as George Rodger, David “Chim” Seymour and Werner Bischof.
Her latest publications include Saul Leiter: In My Room (Steidl, 2018), Magnum Photobook: Catalogue Raisonné, with Fred Ritchin (Phaidon, 2017), Voyage à Kyoto (PixelPress, 2015) and Bruno Barbey: Passages (La Martinière, 2015). Her memoirs, Récits Instantanés, will be published in 2019. She is currently working on a book with George Rodger’s photographs of the Bergen-Belsen camp.
David “Chim” Seymour (born Dawid Szymin, 1911-1956) is known for his images of the Spanish Civil War, for co-founding Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa and George Rodger, and for his project “Children of War” with UNICEF, which captures the plight of children in the post-war period. Seymour was president of Magnum after Capa’s death in 1954, and held the post until his death in 1956 by an Egyptian machine gun after the Suez Crisis.
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