|Don McCullin CBE|
9 October 1935
Finsbury Park, London, England, UK
Donald McCullin, CBE Hon FRPS (born 9 October 1935, Finsbury Park, London, England) is an internationally known British photojournalist, particularly recognized for his war photography and images of urban strife. His career, which began in 1959, has specialised in examining the underside of society, and his photographs have depicted the unemployed, downtrodden and the impoverished.
McCullin grew up in Finsbury Park, North London, but he was evacuated to a farm in Somerset during The Blitz. He is dyslexic but displayed a talent for drawing at the Secondary Modern School he attended. He won a scholarship to Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts but, following the death of his father, he left school at the age of 15, without qualifications, for a catering job on the railways. He was then called up for National Service in the Royal Air Force.
McCullin's period of National Service in the RAF saw him posted to the Canal Zone during the 1956 Suez Crisis, where he worked as a photographer's assistant. He failed to pass the written theory paper necessary to become a photographer in the RAF, and so spent his service in the darkroom. During this period McCullin bought his first camera, a Rolleicord. On return to Britain shortage of funds led to him pawning the camera. His mother used her own money to redeem the pledge.
In 1959, a photograph he took of a local London gang was published in The Observer. Between 1966 and 1984, he worked as an overseas correspondent for the Sunday Times Magazine, recording ecological and man-made catastrophes such as war-zones, amongst them Biafra, in 1968 and victims of the African AIDS epidemic. His hard-hitting coverage of the Vietnam War and the Northern Ireland conflict is particularly highly regarded.
In 1982 the British Government refused to grant McCullin a press pass to cover the Falklands War. At the time he believed it was because the Thatcher government felt his images might be too disturbing politically. It later emerged that he was a victim of bureaucracy: he had been turned away simply because the Royal Navy had used up its quota of press passes.
He is the author of a number of books, including The Palestinians (with Jonathan Dimbleby, 1980), Beirut: A City in Crisis (1983), and Don McCullin in Africa (2005). His book, Shaped by War (2010), was published to accompany a major retrospective exhibition at the Imperial War Museum North, Salford, England in 2010 and then at the Victoria Art Gallery, Bath and the Imperial War Museum, London. His most recent publication is Southern Frontiers: A Journey Across the Roman Empire, a poetic and contemplative study of selected Roman and pre-Roman ruins in North Africa and the Middle East.
In later years, McCullin has turned to landscape and still-life works and taking commissioned portraits.
- The Destruction Business. Open Gate Books. 1971. ISBN 0-333-13022-7.
- Is Anyone Taking Any Notice?. MIT Press. 1973.
- Anton Wallich-Clifford & Don McCullin (1974). No Fixed Abode. Macmillan Publishers.
- Homecoming. Macmillan. 1979.
- Jonathan Dimbleby & Don McCullin (1980). The Palestinians. Quartet Books. ISBN 0-7043-3322-8.
- Hearts of Darkness: Photographs by Don McCullin. Secker and Warburg. 1980.
- Don McCullin. (1983). Beirut: A City in Crisis. New English Library. ISBN 0-450-06037-3.
- Don McCullin. (1987). Perspectives. Harrap. ISBN 0-245-54368-6.
- Don McCullin ; introduction by John Fowles. (1989). Open Skies. Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-02539-2.
- Norman Lewis & Don McCullin (1993). An Empire of the East: Travels in Indonesia. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-03230-5.
- Don McCullin (1994). Sleeping with Ghosts: A Life's Work in Photography. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-03241-0.
- Don McCullin ; (1999). India. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-05089-3.
- Cold Heaven. Christian Aid. 2001. ISBN 0-904379-47-7.
- Don McCullin; with Lewis Chester. (2002). Unreasonable Behaviour: An Autobiography. Vintage Books. ISBN 0-09-943776-7.
- Don McCullin (2003). Don McCullin. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-07118-1.
- Life Interrupted. Christian Aid. 2004. ISBN 0-904379-64-7.
- Don McCullin. (2005). Don McCullin in Africa. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 0-224-07514-4.
- Don McCullin (2007). Don McCullin in England. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 978-0-224-07870-2.
- Don McCullin (2010). Shaped by War. Vintage. ISBN 978-0-224-09026-1.
- Don McCullin (2010). Southern Frontiers: A Journey Across the Roman Empire. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 978-0-224-08708-7.
- 1964: World Press Photo Award, for his coverage of the war in Cyprus.
- 1964: Warsaw Gold Medal.
- 1977: Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society (FRPS).
- 1993: honorary doctorate from the University of Bradford.
- 1993: honorary degree from the Open University.
- 1993: CBE, the first photojournalist to receive the honour.
- 2003: Royal Photographic Society's Special 150th Anniversary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography.
- 2006: Cornell Capa Award.
- 2007: Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal.
- 2008: Honorary Doctorate of Letters by the University of Gloucestershire in recognition of his lifetime's achievement in photojournalism.
- 2009: Honorary Fellowship of Hereford College of Arts.
- 2011: Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts) from the University of Bath.
- "I grew up in total ignorance, poverty and bigotry, and this has been a burden for me throughout my life. There is still some poison that won't go away, as much as I try to drive it out."
- "I am a professed atheist, until I find myself in serious circumstances. Then I quickly fall on my knees, in my mind if not literally, and I say : 'Please God, save me from this.'"
- "I have been manipulated, and I have in turn manipulated others, by recording their response to suffering and misery. So there is guilt in every direction: guilt because I don't practice religion, guilt because I was able to walk away, while this man was dying of starvation or being murdered by another man with a gun. And I am tired of guilt, tired of saying to myself: "I didn't kill that man on that photograph, I didn't starve that child." That's why I want to photograph landscapes and flowers. I am sentencing myself to peace."
- "Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures."
- Don McCullin at SundaySalon. Retrieved 22 March 2014
- Don McCullin interview in The Guardian 22 December 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2014
- ftweekend Don Mcullin interview Retrieved 22 March 2014
- Leo Benedictus "Don McCullin's best shot", The Guardian (London), 29 March 2007. A shortened version of this interview, omitting this material, appears here .
- Edemariam, Aida (2005-08-25). "The human factor (interview)". The Observer.
- McCullin, Donald; Lewis Chester (2002). Unreasonable Behaviour, An Autobiography. Vintage Books. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0-09-943776-5.
- Peres, Michael R.; Osterman, Mark; Romer, Grant B.; Lopez, J. Tomas (2008). The Concise Focal Encyclopedia of Photography. Focal Press. ISBN 0-240-80998-X.
- Philippe Garner, David Alan Miller, Blow Up (Steidl, 2011).
- McCullin, Donald; Lewis Chester (2002). Unreasonable Behaviour, An Autobiography. Vintage Books. pp. 137–138. ISBN 978-0-09-943776-5.
- Morris, Roderick (1997-10-30). "Don McCullin's Harrowing Images of War". International Herald Tribune.
- "Don McCullin". Exploring Photography (Victoria and Albert Museum). Retrieved 2007-03-31.
- Das, P (January 2005), "Life interrupted—a photographic exhibition of HIV/AIDS in Africa by Don McCullin", The Lancet Infectious Diseases 5 (1): 15, doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(04)01248-4, ISSN 1473-3099, PMID 15620555
- Shaped by war: Don McCullin in Profile British Journal of Photography 3 Mar 2010
- "Don McCullin biography". Under Fire: Images from Vietnam. Piece Unique Gallery. Retrieved 2007-03-30.
- Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Award Accessed 13 August 2012
- "Cornell Capa Award". Retrieved 2007-03-31.
- Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Award
- "Honorary Awards Announced". University of Gloucestershire. 3 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-10.[dead link]
- "Annual Report 2012 (p11)". Creative Space. Hereford College of Arts. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
- "Honorary graduates", University of Bath. Accessed 14 January 2012. (A list of honorary graduates of 2011.)
- Susan Hallett (4 February 2013). "Don McCullin’s Post-Empire England | Literary & Visual Arts | Arts & Entertainment". Epoch Times. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- "Entre Vues : Frank Horvat - Don McCullin (London, August 1987)". Frank Horvat Photography. Retrieved September 2, 2013.
- "BBC Radio 3 - Transcript of the John Tusa Interview with Don McCullin". Retrieved November 25, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Don McCullin.|
- Don McCullin at Hamiltons Gallery
- Life Interrupted: A gallery from Africa on behalf of Christian Aid
- Interview on BBC Radio
- Selection of photographs by Don McCullin at the Victoria and Albert Museum
- Audio slideshow on BBC News
- TateShots: Don McCullin The artist on his work (podcast by Tate Britain)
- “Homeless Irishman, Aldgate, East End, London,” 1970 and other photographs, at theepochtimes.com