Olivia Arthur discusses which eight photographs she would take to a desert island with host, Stephen Bull.

Recorded at London Art Fair in January 2016, watch the full version of Desert Island Pics with Olivia Arthur above.

Short on time? We’ve broken Olivia’s selection’s down into short five minute videos below.

Choice No.1

Choice No.2

Choice No.3

Choice No.4

Choice No.5

Choice No.6

Choice No.7

Choice No.8


Olivia Arthur has been a member of Magnum Photos since 2013. Having worked extensively on women’s issues throughout Eastern Europe, Iran, Turkey and North Africa, her much celebrated first book Jeddah Diary (2012) opened up the paradoxical world of young women in Saudi Arabia.

Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, UAE. © Olivia Arthur/Magnum Photos
Jumeirah Beach, Dubai, UAE. © Olivia Arthur/Magnum Photos

Desert Island Pics is an ongoing series of Photoworks talks loosely based on the format of  BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs. For LAF16, Olivia revealed her choice of eight photographs and discussed how they reflect her life and career with our regular Desert Island Pics host Stephen Bull.

Previous Desert Island Pics castaways include Martin Parr, Alison Jackson, Simon Roberts and Jeremy Deller.

Olivia Arthur (b1980) was awarded The Guardian’s 2001 Student Photographer of the Year while she was studying Maths at Oxford University. A photography diploma from London College of Printing (now LCC) followed in 2003.

She began working as a photographer in 2003 after moving to Delhi and was based in India for two and a half years.

© Olivia Arthur
Preparations for a Jat Wedding, Haryana, India. © Olivia Arthur/Magnum Photos

In 2006 she left for Italy to take up a one-year residency with Fabrica, during which she began working on a series about women and the East-West cultural divide. This work has taken her to the border between Europe and Asia, Iran and Saudi Arabia. She has recieved support from the Inge Morath Award, the National Media Museum, OjodePez-PhotoEspana Award for Human Values.

In 2010 she co-founded Fishbar, a space for photography in London with Philipp Ebeling.

For other Desert Island Pics click here. 

Amal at home, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. © Olivia Arthur/Magnum Photos
Amal at home, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. © Olivia Arthur/Magnum Photos

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