For Contact Press Images, as for much of the world, September 11, 2001 effectively inaugurated a new era, overnight transforming the political and cultural landscape. With the so-called “war on terror” catapulted to the forefront of international concern, Contact photographers responded with images from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, the Middle East, Washington D.C., New York City, and elsewhere — yet the agency’s mission remained constant: to produce in-depth photographic essays of pressing global concern instead of “disposable” news, to pose difficult questions rather than provide facile answers, and above all to make important and lasting images – always with history in mind.

Now approaching its thirtieth anniversary, Contact, one of the last small independent photographic agencies still in existence, with slightly over twenty active photographers from over a dozen countries, and representing the bodies of work of another dozen, has responded to the technological changes sweeping the photographic world with a fully updated website, scanning and digital transmission facilities — but never by sacrificing innovation or the range of the traditional tools of the medium. Nor has it left behind its custom of focusing on world-wide humanitarian issues such as AIDS, poverty, and education, issues which ignored — as they often are — frequently preface dire military confrontations. Indeed, these “untended” issues lie at the heart of Contact’s philosophy: to cover what remains uncovered, and to shine a powerful light on dark corners of the globe.