Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour (aka “Chim”) were the first photographers to take lightweight cameras into battle zones and document the hectic lunacy of war – specifically the Spanish civil war – for magazine readers in more tranquil lands.
While their published images made the trio famous, their trove of negatives vanished into obscurity. Hundreds of rolls of film eventually reappeared in the legendary “Mexican Suitcase”, smuggled out of Paris in 1939, unearthed in Mexico in the late 1990s, and conveyed to New York’s International Center of Photography in 2007. The cartons have now finally been unpacked for an exhibition which shows that the first war photographers were not disinterested observers but risk-taking publicists for the Republican cause.
‘The Mexican Suitcase’, International Center of Photography, New York, to January 9