Magnum Suspends David Alan Harvey for One Year Following Investigation

Magnum Photos has suspended photographer David Alan Harvey for one year following an investigation into an historical accusation.

Harvey was temporarily suspended in August when the accusation was first made, pending an investigation. Today, a statement posted on the Magnum website explains that the investigation was carried out “by an independent investigator, Magnum’s board, with the assistance of outside legal counsel” and has “concluded that the behaviour represented a breach of its code of conduct and by-laws.”

Magnum has refused requests to publish its code of conduct, explaining that it is a confidential Human Resources document.

Magnum also declined to say who acted as the independent investigator or who provided the outside legal counsel.

According to Magnum, the investigation into Harvey’s behavior and his subsequent suspension “affirms Magnum’s ongoing commitment to create a culture of dignity and respect, free of inappropriate conduct within the organisation and among the photographic community.”

Conditions are attached to Harvey’s reinstatement, and the photographer “has been asked to engage willingly in sensitivity and anti-harassment training among other requirements.”

The statement also explains that Magnum has set up a hotline with Safecall so that anyone with concerns over the conduct of Magnum staff can pass them directly to Magnum’s senior staff anonymously.

In a separate issue, Harvey’s work was removed from Magnum’s website in August after it emerged that a body of work entitled “THAILAND. Bangkok Prostitutes” featured explicit images of what may be children. Magnum’s president, Olivia Arthur, issued a statement on August 14 explaining that it would conduct an “in-depth internal review — with outside guidance —  to make sure that we fully understand the implications of the work in the archive, both in terms of imagery and context.”

When asked who has been appointed to give the outside guidance, whether law enforcement was being consulted, and if there was a timeframe for its completion, Magnum responded only by saying that the investigation is ongoing.

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