Gilles Peress began working with photography in 1970, having previously studied political science and philosophy in Paris. One of Peress’ first projects examined immigration in Europe, and he has since documented events in Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Palestine, Iran, the Balkans, Rwanda, the U.S., Afghanistan and Iraq. His ongoing project, Hate Thy Brother, a cycle of documentary narratives, looks at intolerance and the re-emergence of nationalism throughout the world and its consequences.
Peress’ books include Telex Iran; The Silence: Rwanda; Farewell to Bosnia; The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar; A Village Destroyed; and Haines. Portfolios of his work have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, the Sunday Times Magazine, Du magazine, Life, Stern, Geo, Paris-Match, Parkett, Aperture and the New Yorker.
Peress’ work has been exhibited and is collected by institutions including: the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, PS1, all in New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; the V&A in London; the Musée d'Art Moderne, the Picasso Museum, Parc de la Villette and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; the Museum Folkwang, Essen; the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, among others.
Awards and fellowships Peress has received include: The Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants, Pollock-Krasner and New York State Council of the Arts fellowships, the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award
Peress is Professor of Human Rights and Photography at Bard College, NY and Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley. Peress joined Magnum Photos in 1971 and served three times as vice-president and twice as president of the co-operative. He and his wife, Alison Cornyn, live in Brooklyn with their three children.