Ian Berry was born in 1934 in Lancashire, England, and lives and works in London. A documentary photographer, Berry made his reputation in South Africa in the 1950s, first with the Daily Mail and later with Drum magazine. While documenting the early years of apartheid, Berry witnessed many violent political events, including the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960. He left South Africa in 1961, arriving first in Paris—where in 1962 he became an associate member of the photographic cooperative Magnum at the invitation of Henri Cartier-Bresson—before coming to England in 1964. Through his work with Magnum, Berry has documented political tensions throughout the world, including Russia’s invasion of Czechoslovakia; conflicts in Israel, Ireland, Vietnam, and the Congo; famine in Ethiopia; child slavery in Ghana; the tribulations of the Spanish fishing industry; and the political and social transformations in China and the former USSR.
The major body of Berry’s work produced in South Africa is represented in two books: Black and Whites: L’Afrique du Sud (1988) and Living Apart (1996). His editorial assignments have included work for National Geographic, Fortune, Stern, Geo, Esquire, Paris Match, and Life. In 2005, he was awarded a national photography magazine award for lifetime achievement in photography.