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 agencys 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 Contacts philosophy: to cover what remains uncovered, and to shine a powerful light on dark corners of the globe.