susan meiselas received her b.a. from sarah lawrence college and her m.a. in visual education from harvard university. meiselas joined magnum photos in 1976 and has worked as a freelance photographer since then. she is best known for her coverage of the insurrection in nicaragua and her documentation of human rights issues in latin america, which were published widely throughout the world. she has co-directed two film projects with richard p. rogers and alfred guzzetti: ‘living at risk: the story of a nicaraguan family (1986), revisited and updated in 2010 as "a family in history" and pictures from a revolution (1991) with a return 25 years later that led to "reframing history". in 1997, she completed a six-year project curating a 100-year photographic history of kurdistan, and integrating her own work into the book entitledkurdistan: in the shadow of history (random house, 1997; reprinted by the university of chicago press, 2008). meiselas then created the website, www.akakurdistan.com, an online archive of collective memory.
in 2008, susan meiselas, in history, a major u.s. overview highlighting key moments in meiselas’ documentary process was exhibited at the international center for photography. the accompanying reader, susan meiselas, in history co-published by icp/steidl received the krasna kraus book of the year award and the luma historical book award in 2009. meiselas has had one-woman exhibitions in paris, madrid, amsterdam, london, los angeles, chicago and new york. her work is included in american and international collections. honorary awards of recognition include: the robert capa gold medal for ‘outstanding courage and reporting’ by the overseas press club for her work in nicaragua (1979); the leica award for excellence (1982); the engelhard award from the institute of contemporary art (1985); the maria moors cabot prize from columbia university for her coverage of latin america (1994); the hasselblad foundation photography prize (1994) and the cornell capa infinity award (2005). in 1992, she was named a macarthur fellow.