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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

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Six photographs: René Burri

11 minutes

René Burri on a career of turning evanescent moments into indelible photographs

Since the advent of photography, capturing fleeting occurrences, glances and glimpses has become ever more commonplace. The prominent Swiss photographer René Burri, who died in October 2014 at the age of 81, specialised in those ephemeral moments, which he aimed to catch ‘like a fly in flight’. Burri had a way of seeing that allowed him to find the otherwise unseen moments of life, a gift that he explained, in simpler terms, as showing what the world looked like. In this film, the late photographer discusses six of his most famous works.

Director: Anthony Austin

Producer: Helena Reis

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Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Support Aeon

Essay/
Art
Is it really a Leonardo?

Forensics can’t be sure. Provenance can be fudged. This is why the expert eye still rules the game of art authentication

Noah Charney

Essay/
Cultures & Languages
Black Achilles

The Greeks didn’t have modern ideas of race. Did they see themselves as white, black – or as something else altogether?

Tim Whitmarsh