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December 12, 2012
by David Seymour
David Seymour, better known under CHIM, is a legend amongst photographers.
Born in Warsaw in 1911 into a Jewish family of publishers, CHIM was still called David Szymin.
At the time he wanted to become a piano player. His encounter with the history of his era and
with photography turned him into one of the most sensitive eyewitnesses of his time.
As the co-founder of the renowned agency Magnum, he observed and photographed major
conflicts radically taking sides for the victims' point of view. He was killed in 1956 while
covering the Suez war. His friend Henri Cartier-Bresson once said about Seymour:
"Chim picked up his camera the way a doctor takes his stethescope out of his bag, applying
his diagnosis to the condition of the heart. His own was vulnerable".
To rediscover CHIM means to observe his humanistic oeuvre as an essential historical
testimony, a way to come to an understanding of the world. It also shows how the photographer
has been using his art and instrument as a means of resilience.