Magdalena Solé is an award-winning social documentary photographer. Whether richly
saturated or time worn, Magdalena uses color to encapsulate a range of feelings. She is known
for her sensitive expressions of culture through distinctive color artistry. Visual language has
been her life’s work. In 1989 she founded TransImage, a graphic design studio with offices in
New York City and San Francisco. In 2002 she graduated with a Masters of Fine Art in Film from
Columbia University. Her last film, “Man On Wire”, on which she was the Unit Production
Manager, won an Academy Award Oscar in 2009.
“The Mississippi Delta is an iconic region lying between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers, running from Memphis to Vicksburg. The Delta evokes visions of sharecroppers, plantations and the sound of the Blues. The area has a small wealthy gentry and a large impoverished underclass living in dilapidated houses and tilting trailers. The Delta is one of the poorest places in the United States, with one of the saddest infant mortality rates, rampant unemployment and little hope for a better future.
I first visited the Delta in 2009, and, in a sense, I have never left. Or more precisely, the Delta has never left me. Such is the magical spell cast by the place and the people who live in that slender stretch of fertile flat land in northwestern Mississippi. It is a place where lives are shaped by a close attachment to the land, by the unhurried rhythms of the season, and by the shared memories of a tortured past.
There is something about the Delta people that goes to the very heart of what it means to be human. Perhaps nowhere else in America do such extremes in ways of life and emotional history exist so intimately.
“The Delta” is a celebration of the people of the Mississippi Delta. In vibrant color photographs it explores the people of the Mississippi Delta, their warmth, resilience and sense of community. My camera is a Leica Rangefinder camera affording me proximity and unobtrusiveness.
My photographs seek to uncover the hidden and unspoken, describing brief moments of human existence. Carried by the rhythm of a setting, they convey what is at once simple and vast, passing and constant, ordinary and intangible.
The Delta series was created for a book titled “New Delta Rising”, published by the Dreyfus Health Foundation and distributed by the University Press of Mississippi in late 2011. It is the result of 12 weeks, 9 trips, and more then 10,000 miles crisscrossing the Delta in search of people and their stories.
The Delta reminds me of the post war Spain of my early childhood. The images from this journey reveal a people with much to teach about steadfastness and community who live in a land of ethereal beauty.”
To view more of Magdalena’s work, please visit her website.