Larry Towell

From the harrowing to the meditative, Human Being offers

an unprecedented immersion into Larry Towell’s journey via

never-before-seen footage, photos, recordings and artifacts.

After a lifetime capturing the stories of the displaced and

the uprooted, Towell returns to the place where it all began.

Larry Towell's business card reads 'Human Being'. Experience as a poet and folk musician has done much to shape his personal style.

In  1984 he became a freelance photographer and writer focusing on peasant rebellion  and landless. He is the author of fourteen books including: No Man’s Land, which won the Prix Nadar, The Mennonites, which was awarded the British D & AD and El Salvador, which won the US Golden Light Award. The World From My Front Porch was acknowledged as one of the best books of 2008 by Photo-Eye and Photo District News. His most recent book Afghanistan (Aperture) was credited as one of the best ten photo books of 2014 by The New Yorker and TIME Magazine. Other photography and visual arts awards include: the inaugural Henri Cartier-Bresson, a Hasselblad, Oskar Barnak, Alfred Eisenstadt, a W. Eugene Smith grant for Humanistic Photography and the Canadian Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award. In 2008 he won an Achievement in Film making from the New York Independent Film and Video Festival for Indesicive Moments.

His work has been exhibited and collected internationally by The George Eastman House, The Getty, The Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (Paris), Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery Ontario, The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), The Canadian Museum Of Contemporary Photography, The Archive Of Modern Conflict (UK), FOAM (Amsterdam), The Kunsthalle Erfurt (Germany). National Portrait Gallery (Edinburgh), and The Stephen Bulger, Leica and Zelda Cheatle Galleries in Toronto, New York, and London.

Larry is also know for his innovative live  performances incorporating original music poetry, video, and stills.

He joined Magnum in 1988, and served as vice-president of the New York office from 2007 to 2010 and from 2014-2016. He remains the only Canadian member.


The New York Times Magazine, Aperture, TIME Magazine, Rolling Stone (USA), LIFE Magazine (USA) Das Magazine, Bilanz (Switzerland), Profil (Austria), GEO, Stern, Lux, Max, (Germany), Paris Match, Telerama, Le Monde, Liberacion, Elle (France),  Photo Italia (Italy), La Revista (Spain), Canadian Geographic (Canada),  Playboy (Japan), The Telegraph, The Independent on Sunday, Granta (UK) The Paris Review (USA), The Walrus (Canada), Macleans (Canada), Photo District News, American Photography, Doubletake.


2016 - Finalist: Ontario Premiers’ Award for Excellence in the Arts.                          

2015 - PDN (Photo District News) book award for Afghanistan: One of the best        photo books of  2015.

2014 - The New Yorker’s List of Fourteen best photo books of 2014. (Afghanistan)

2014 - TIME Magazine: One of the Best Books the fall 2014- TIME Magazine LightBox (Afghanistan).

2011 - Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award, Ontario Arts Foundation. 

2010 - Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Award.

2009 - The World From My Front Porch- One of ten best photo books of 2008, Photo-eye

2009 - The World From My Front Porch- And/or  Photography Book Award (Kraszna-Krausz Foundation, UK- shortlisted)

2009 - The World From My Front Porch- One of 50 Best photo books of the year. Festival Of The Photograph. Charlottesville, Virginia.

2008 -  One of the year’s best pictures, Photo District News.

2007 -  Achievement In Filmmaking Award, New York Independent Film And Video Festival.

2007 - Alicia Patterson Award (USA, Finalist)

2006 -  PDN Photo Annual: One of the year’s best projects.

2005 - Prix Nadar (best photography book published in France 2005.)          

2003 -  Henri Cartier-Bresson Award (France)             

2002 - Roloff Beny Book Award (Canada)several World Press Awards,

2001 - British Design and Art Direction  (D&AD) Award London, UK (1st Prize)

2000 - Society for News Design Award, La Nacion (Argentina)

2000 - Photo-eye Award, Citation of Excellence (USA) 

1999 - Hasselblad Foundation Award (Sweden)

1999 - Roloff Beny Book Award (Canada)

1999 - POY (Pictures of the Year, University of Missouri) special recognition, Canon Photo Essayist

1999 - POY Best Use of Photography in Books

1998 - Alfred Eisenstadt Award; Portraiture, Columbia University, NYC, (1st prize)

1998              Pictures of the Year Foundation, University of Missouri; Pictorial (1st prize)

1998 - Pictures of the Year Foundation, University of Missouri; Feature Stories (2nd prize)

1998 - Overseas Press Club, New York, Citation of Excellence.

1998 - Society of Publication Designers (SPD) Magazine of the Year, NY Times, BEING 13

1998 - SPD- Merit Award, NY Times Magazine.

1997 - Maine Photographic Workshops, Golden Light Award for El Salvador , best monograph/book of 1997.              

1997 - SPD- Merit Award, LIFE MAGAZINE, Feature Story.

1996 - Pictures of the Year Foundation, Special Recognition, Canon Photo Essayist

1996 - Oskar Barnack Leica Award (Germany).

1996 - El Mundo Award (Spain)

1995 -  Ernst Haas Foundation Award (USA)

2000-95-94 - Canadian National Magazine Awards (Gold)

1995-93-91 - Western Canada magazine Awards (Gold)

1994 - Pictures of the Year Foundation, University of Missouri; Canon Photo Essayist (1st prize)

1994 - World Press Foundation (Amsterdam); World Press Photo of the Year (1st prize) + Daily Life Stories (1st prize) + General News Stories (1st prize)

1993 -  World Press Foundation (Amsterdam); Daily Life Stories (1st prize)

1991              W Eugene Smith Foundation Award (International Centre of Photography, New York)


2013 - Blood In The Soil (music cd and film)

2008 - The Bike Ride (video installation)

2008 - Video Montage (George Eastman House video installation)

2008 - The World From My Front Porch (audio CD)

2008 - Indecisive Moments (Video Diary Of A Still Photographer) (45 minute DVD)

2005 - The Dark Years (audio 2 CD set)

2005 - No Man’s Land (installation video)

2005 - No Man’s Land (ambient audio CD)

2004 - Mary’s Accordion (video)

2004 - The Mennonites (audio CD)

1979 - Feathers And Bones (LP)


2014 -  Afghanistan, Aperture USA.

2008 - The World From My Front Porch, Chris Boot (UK)

2008 - The Cardboard House, Trolley, (Italy)        

2006 - In The Wake Of Hurricane Katrina, Archive Of Modern Conflict (UK)

2005 - No Man’s Land, Textuel (France)  Chris Boot (UK).

2005 - Larry Towell, (Magnum Series) Hachette, France.

2000 -  The Mennonites, Phaidon Press (UK, France).

1999 - Then Palestine, Aperture (USA); Marval (France)

1997 -  El Salvador, W.W. Norton/Doubletake Books (USA)

1994 - House on Ninth Street, Cormorant Books, Dunvegan,  ON. 

1992 - The Prison Poems of Ho Chi Minh, Cormorant Books,  Dunvegan, ON.

1990 - Somoza's Last Stand, Williams-Wallace Publishers, Stratford, ON.

1988 - Gifts of War, Coach House Press, Toronto, ON.

1983 -  Burning Cadillacs, Black Moss Press, Windsor, ON.


2017 - Standing Rock, Visa Pour L’Image, Perpignan, France.

2017 - Union Station,  Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto.

2016 - On The Move, Photo Festival, Cortona, Italy.

2014 - Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), Sydney Australia.

2014 - The Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON.

2014 - Robert Laughlin Gallery, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON.

2013 - Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany.

2013 - Bretta Photo Festival, Bretta, Holland.

2012 - Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto.

2012 - Museum London, London, ON.

2010 - Palazzo dei Duchi dÆAcquivia, Atri, Abruzzo, Italy.

2010 - Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON.

2009 - McDonough Museum Of Art, Youngstown, Ohio.

2008 - George Eastman House, Rochester, NY.

2007 - University Of Kentucky Art Museum, Lexington  KY, USA.

2007 - Arthur Ross Gallery, Pennsylvania, USA.

2006 - Le theatre de la photographie et de l’image, Nice, France.

2006 - FOAM, Amsterdam, Holland.

2006 - Galerie Zola, Aix-en-provence, France. 

2005 - L’Espace Malraux Scene Nationale de Chambery, Chambery, France.

2005 - No Mans Land, Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris, France

2005 - No Mans Land, Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON

2005 - Projects, Michael Gibson Gallery, London, ON

2004 - Alice Austin Museum, New York City, USA

2003 - Festival Fotografia, Rome.

2003 - The Caixa Forum, Barcelona, Spain. 

2003 - Oratorio del Caravita, Rome, Italy.

2003 - Presentation House, Vancouver, BC

2003 - Kunsthalle Erfurt, Erfurt, Germany.

2002 - Canada House (Canadian High Commission) London,  UK

2002 - Leaf Rapids National Exhibition Centre, Leaf Rapids, Manitoba

2002 - University of Northern British Colombia,  Prince George, B.C.

2002 - Leaf Rapids National Exhibition Centre, Leaf Rapids, MA.

2001 - National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland.

2001  - Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.

2001 - The Leica Gallery, New York City.

2001 - Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa.

2001 - McLaren Art Centre, Barrie, ON.

2000 - Staedtische Gallery, Iserlohn, Germany.

2000 - Aleppo Photo Festival, Aleppo, Syria.

2000 - Canadian Embassy, Damascus, Syria.

2000 - London Regional Art Gallery, London, ON.

2000 - The Leica Gallery, New York City.

2000 - Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto, ON.