Portraits and Dreams

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I have long thought of photography as being centred on what you do with cameras and photographs — instead of merely as being centred on cameras and photographs. In other words, I see photographs as means to an end — and not as the end itself. Of course, I enjoy a lot of photography that ends with printed pictures in expensive frames. But ultimately the fetish of the print bores me (it helps that all the photos I like are priced way out of my reach).

There’s something very restrictive to having photography centre on the fetish of the print, or maybe the printed picture. Over the past few years, I’ve seen a lot of photography that looked great as part of the stream of images on Instagram but fell completely flat when printed. This is as much an issue of translation (screen to print) as of context. Some pictures rely on the context of the stream: instead of losing their lustre (as critics like to claim), they actually gain from sparkling as the gems they are when surrounded by mediocrity.

If you instead think about photography as what you do with cameras and pictures, it’s almost inevitable that you’ll end up in social contexts, the same social contexts that under neoliberal capitalism have become increasingly impoverished, to the point where we now mistaken typing short messages into our smartphones in isolation as being “social.”

In a social context, there is a give and take — this sits at the core of something being social. The opposite of this would be to only take. Photographers take pictures. Thus, on its own, and if it ends there, photography is an extractive practice.

Over the past few months, I’ve seen this word used more and more: extractive. To extract is to take something and make it your own. Extraction is inherently tied to capitalism, especially its neoliberal kind that does away with any social obligations.

But photography can be more than extraction, because there is what you do with pictures. Like I noted, you can print your pictures and hang them on a wall, adorned by expensive frames. That way, you mostly aim for beauty (let’s ignore the inevitable commerce bit). The idea of beauty is social, too: if I find something beautiful and I can’t find a single other person on this planet who does as well, is that still beauty?

The appreciation of visual beauty, however, is not social (especially when compared to music). At San Francisco’s Pier 24, they only allow in a small number of visitors so each person can enjoy the photographs on their own. I personally find this not enjoyable at all (it’s actually rather creepy).

I would rather go to a museum and not only look at pictures but also notice other people looking and reacting to what is on view. I personally prefer the shared experience, even as what is shared is literally only the fact that something unsharable — an interior experience — is happening in the presence of strangers.

I suppose what this comes down to is that I enjoy photography that is made to be shared. This is part of the enjoyment I get out of good photobooks: beyond the pictures, there’s something else happening, someone thinking about how to shape a unique experience. With its many different options, the photobook also allows for photography to move beyond its extractive state.

A prime example of how photography can overcome its extractiveness is provided by Wendy Ewald‘s Portraits and Dreams: Photographs and Stories by Children of the Appalachians, recently reissued by MACK in an updated and expanded version (full disclosure: MACK are going to publish an expanded version of one of my essays as part of their Discourse series.).

In 1976, fresh out of college, Ewald moved to a very rural part of Kentucky and started teaching photography to children there. Like many parts of the United States, Appalachia has a stereotype affixed to it. If we just stay with photography this has resulted in its people being portrayed in ways that might be unique for the US: typically, it only is regions — or whole countries — elsewhere, far away, that were or are being depicted in such a skewed and cruel manner. To learn more, this interview with Roger May is a good starting point.

“The students,” Ewald writes, “bought ten-dollar Instamatic cameras from me; I hoped that by buying the cameras they would value them as things that had worked for and would have as long as they took care of them. If they didn’t have the money, they earned it by mowing lawns, or holding a bake sale or a raffle. I supplied the students with film and flash.” (p. 113)

The majority of photographs in the book were taken by the children — as is evidenced by their technical qualities. In one of the texts in the book, there is talk of a Hasselblad camera Ewald used. There are some photographs that clearly look as if they had been taken with such a camera. Mostly, though, the pictures have an Instamatic look.

In addition, the majority of the photographs come with a name and caption underneath. For the most part, these captions are prosaic descriptions, even though at times, the children also talk about the ideas that went into the photographs they made (“I dreamt I killed my best friend, Ricky Dixon” — Allen Shepherd, p. 96).

There also are extended texts that read like transcriptions of what the children told Ewald. Again, these texts range from the prosaic to the profound — in a way that only children could come up with. In a nutshell, it is the children who tell the story of their part of the world through their photographs and words.

The children’s photographs were the outcome of assignments: make a portrait, make a picture of a dream. How does one go about making a picture of a dream? Adult artists would probably agonise over such an assignment. But children just do it: there’s the dream, so you assemble your props and, where needed, a friend, and then you make a picture.

“In 2008,” Ewald writes, “[…] forty years after I began collaborating with the students whose photographs appear in the book, many of them, now in their forties, started to get in touch.” This is the first sentence in her brief essay that marks the beginning of the expansion of the original book. Here, some of the students speak about their lives now, again with a mixture of text and photographs.

Portraits and Dreams offers such a strong counter model to photography’s extractiveness that it deserves to be seen for that alone. At the same time, though, the book also provides an endearing look into the lives of people who grew up in Appalachia, often with rough family lives.

At the end of the day, every photographer will have to make her or his own decision concerning how to deal with what the medium has to offer. As I have argued before, s/he will also have to deal with the fact that the age of innocence in photography is truly over (assuming it actually ever existed). There just is so much baggage from the history of the medium that many areas of photography are incredibly problematic.

This does not necessarily have to translate into a prohibition of entering those areas: maybe there are other ways of dealing with a subject matter that avoid obvious problems? As Wendy Ewald demonstrated when Portraits and Dreams was first published, you can make work in Appalachia that does not reduce the area to the bad stereotypes that, sadly, are still being produced today.

It is exactly here where thinking about photography as a social practice — and not as some fancy craft — can help. For the fancy craftsmen any discussion of (for them) unforeseen consequences of their work always amounts to something unpleasant. More often than not this outcome would have been completely avoidable if the process of photography had not been stopped with the pictures.

If anything, Portraits and Dreams demonstrates what is gained from allowing your subjects to enter your work as active participants — instead of being merely subjects whose picture you take. Or, in Wendy Ewald’s words: “these students taught me the guiding principle of my life’s work: to frame the world according to others’ vision, as well as to my own.” (p. 125)


Portraits and Dreams; photographs and texts by Wendy Ewald and her students; original introductory essay by Ben Lifson; 160 pages; MACK; 2020

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How to Add Words to Pictures

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How do you go tackle writing about your photographs? This question poses possibly the most vexing challenge for most photographers. I keep coming back to it because I write about other people’s pictures, and I listen to or read what photographers say or write about their own work. In some ways, the preceding is going to be a variant of older pieces (you can find them here and here). However, now I feel that I have more clarity about the subject than before.

Very few photographers have experience with writing, or rather with “serious” writing. After all, we all know how to write. But it is one thing to write an email, and it is quite another to write a project statement. Why is that?

If you feel you are unable to write about your work for sure you can talk about it? That ought to be a lot easier. But often, it is not.

If you have a tough time talking about your work, you’re not alone. Many photographers are terrible at talking about their work. You could probably easily remember a case where you were thinking just that. Maybe you attended a talk by someone; or you listened to a photographer attempting to talk about their work on any of those various internet channels that have become very popular ever since the pandemic hit.

Thus, the question changes from how one writes about one’s work or how one talks about it. Instead, it becomes: why are you so bad at talking about your work?

You might find solace in the old excuse that you’re an artist, and as such you’re not a writer or talker. Instead, you aim to express yourself visually. This sounds very good, but — I hate to break it to you — it’s complete bullshit. That’s the first thing you want to do: ditch it. Don’t settle for excuses.

After all, if you can’t talk to other people about your work, how do you make sense of it when it’s you and the pictures? In other words, how do you approach your pictures when you’re in your studio or in front of your computer?

You might have an inborn talent to do that. But the reality is that even if you do that talent is somewhat useless unless you work on it, unless, in other words, you exercise it over and over again — at which stage you’re moving from dealing with talent (which you can’t control) to creating an ability to do something (which you can control).

For example, one of the things I learned about myself is that I’m pretty good at dealing with languages. Learning languages and grasping how they work comes relatively easy to me. Over the years, I have tried learning a number of languages. But in most cases that didn’t go anywhere because talent alone will not learn you a language. You will have to practice over and over again. That involves cramming vocabulary and grammar, listening to what a language sounds like, and trying to speak it. So I have a talent for languages, but I can only speak two because I have been too lazy to do all the work necessary to speak more.

On the other hand, I do not think that I have a talent for writing. I now am able to write reasonably well because I worked on it for many years, a process that entailed writing on a regular basis. Usually, writing is not something that I enjoy doing (I like it better than cramming vocabulary, though). But it’s a useful tool for me to do some of the things that I enjoy doing. For sure, it has given me deeper access to engaging with photography.

Thus, even if you’re a very talented artist, your talent is not going to do much for you if you don’t put in all the other added work. For a photographer that means developing one’s skill set and engaging with the work: giving it that very hard look necessary to understand what it is doing and why the good pictures are better than the bad pictures.

One of the most crucial parts of understanding your work is the following realisation. There is where the work is coming from, and there is what it is about. Unless you’re a conceptual photographer, these two aspects are not necessarily identical. There can be some or considerable overlap, but there also might be no overlap. Understanding these two aspects is the crucial ingredient that will allow you to talk and write about your work.

It’s easy to know where the work is coming from: that’s the set of ideas and thoughts that you had when you started taking pictures. Your ideas and thoughts might have changed while photographing, but for sure you’re aware of that.

It’s a lot more difficult to know what the work is about. After all, how can it even be possible that you take photographs with some idea in mind, but then they somehow speak of something different? The answer is simple. Photography might be a technical medium, but in the hands of a human being the machine might be guided by more than merely the conscious mind.

How do you find out what your work is about? Your photographs will tell you. It’s what’s in the pictures and what’s communicated by the pictures. It is the only thing that someone other than you will have access to when they come across your work.

The overlap between where the work was coming from and what it is about depends on the photographer. Each and every photographer has to find out for her/himself. Inevitably, the process of doing that involves overcoming the resistance to deal with anything other than all the ideas and thoughts one has about one’s work.

The task becomes a little bit easier if you realise that usually it’s not a terrible loss if the work is not only (or possibly not at all) what you thought it was. For every aspect that is lost, another one is gained. But it’s not a zero-sum game, either. You might gain a lot more than you lose, or you might not gain quite as much as you lose. If you think of yourself as a creative person, that’s the price you’ll have to be willing to pay.

There is no creativity if you restrict what you’re doing to what you already know. Creativity arises from everything that comes beyond.

Thus, you will have to sit down with your work and figure this out: where is it coming from, and what is it about? To what extent do these two overlap? And what does the work teach you?

There is that moment when you will realise that your own photographs can teach you something about yourself: this is when as an artist, you’re at your most vulnerable. At the same time, that’s the moment when you also realise how you have just grown as an artist and possibly as a person. It’s the most gratifying aspect of making art.

After you’ve done this work, you can speak about your work a lot more clearly. Knowing what your work is about and where it was coming from makes for great raw material to speak and write about it. This is where it gets interesting for an audience. The audience will be able to see what the work is all about, but they have no access to its maker’s motivations and intentions.

When talking about your work, don’t spend too much time on description. Your viewers aren’t blind and they aren’t idiots, so don’t treat them that way. Also, if there are hidden details, do not explain them or give them away.

At the same time when talking about your work, don’t only talk about your ideas and intentions, in particular if they’re far removed from what the work is actually about. Unless you’re a very gifted storyteller (some of the most famous photographers are successful not because their work is so good but rather because they’re very good at selling it), talking too much about your own inner life will leave viewers puzzled.

Instead, talk about the overlap between what the work is about and where it came from. Inevitably, this means allowing yourself to be vulnerable in front of strangers. You can decide beforehand how much you want to reveal. You will have to be comfortable with whatever you reveal. But by revealing something you learned, something that challenged you, something that messed with your mind, you have a unique opportunity to connect with people.

When you talk (or write) about your work, you don’t have to spell out your most private problems. Remember, you are only going to speak about your work, your pictures. But the dichotomy of what it’s about and what you originally set out to do is comparable to a larger dichotomy in our lives: what we know about ourselves and what we allow others to see. We all can relate to how scary it is to reveal something.

When you talk (or write) about your work, do it using the language you feel most comfortable with. One of the biggest problems with writing by photographers is how dreadful it can be. More often than not, photographers attempt to write as pompously as possible. Don’t do that. Talk or write in a manner that feels natural to you. When having the choice between simple and complex speaking or writing, always be on the simple side.

At the end of the day, the words you choose to talk or write about your work are only an addition to it. They help the viewer or reader understand more about you and your pictures. Don’t try to use words to impress people.

Lastly, this all is a matter of practice as well. When working on speaking or writing about your photographs, allow the process to take some time. If your first attempt is a failure, make sure that there are many more failures so you will get to the point at which you’re finally succeeding. Some people are lucky find it easy to talk about their work. If you’re not one of the lucky ones, you’ll have to put in the work.

Ultimately, the person who will benefit the most from you being able to speak and write about your photographs is you. You will understand your work better, and you will have become a better artist. First and foremost, practice speaking about your work for your own growth. Being able to do it in front of an audience is merely a bonus.

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Tree and Soil

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Unlike in the West, in Japan what we call paganism has survived into the present day in the form of its Shinto religion. But also manifested through, let’s say, yōkai. Consequently, the natural world isn’t seen only as a passive canvas that can be dealt with willy-nilly. At the same time, the Japanese landscape has been subjected to a large amount of modifications, which usually are incredibly stylized (even where they are merely concrete barriers set around rivers).

“Universal principles make up nature,” Donald Richie wrote in Japan: A Description, “but nature does not reveal these principles, in Japan, until one has observed nature by shaping it oneself. The garden is not natural until everything in it has been shifted. And flowers are not natural either until so arranged to be. God, man, earth—these are the traditional strata in the flower arrangement, but it is man that is operative, acting as the medium through which earth and heaven meet.”

A little further down he continued: “A garden is not a wilderness. It is only the romantics who find wildness beautiful, and the Japanese are too pragmatic to be romantic. At the same time, a garden is not a geometrical abstraction. It is only the classicists who would find that attractive, and the Japanese are too much creatures of their feelings to be so cerebrally classic. Rather, then, a garden is created to reveal nature. Raw nature is simply never there.” (You can find the essay in A Lateral View: Essays on Culture and Style in Contemporary Japan.)

This reveals a very different sensibility towards both the natural world and the constructed environment than the one we know in the West. With this in mind, you can probably see how a disaster such as the meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant after the 2011 tsunami created a stunning catastrophe.

This statement would be true for any country (on second thought, I’m not so sure any longer the statement applies in the US, given the sheer indifference displayed by large parts of the population towards both the pandemic and the enormous wildfires in the West). But a country with such a specific relationship between the natural and man-made world could only have been shaken up by the fact that there is one more addition to the various invisible forces that guide the world: radioactive material whose presence potentially creates a huge hazard for anything and anyone exposed to it.

This is the background of Antoinette de Jong and Robert Knoth‘s Tree and Soil, a book that combines photographs from around the closed-off areas near the Fukushima plant with images of a collection gathered by Philipp Franz von Siebold, an explorer who collected material in Japan (this is now housed at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, the Netherlands).

If you’re expecting to see a lot of photographs of abandoned buildings in empty towns, you’re going to be disappointed by the book. There are some of these pictures. But the majority of photographs taken in Japan focus on the land itself, on forests, streams, boulders — all those entities that in the country’s traditional thinking habour a spirit.

That said, one of the most arresting photographs is of an abandoned building. Not quite halfway into the book, one of the many gatefolds open to show a row of five vending machines that are housed under a protective roof (much like what you see at gas stations, with the vending machines replacing gas pumps). Its English language signage indicates the presence of a “drink paradise” (the Japanese text, Google Translate tells me, is more prosaic, saying it’s a liquor store). Curiously, two of the machines are still fully lit, which has me believe one could still get a drink.

The area around the stricken power plant was evacuated in haste. But somehow, even years later, nobody thought of cutting the power to those vending machines. In the larger scheme of things, it’s an irrelevant detail. It’s the details and their seeming irrelevance that gives art true meaning: after all, in a strictly neoliberal sense, the people who had to leave these towns ought to just rebuild their lives elsewhere. But such thinking only dispenses with what makes life truly meaningful and displaces it with a culture so shallow that it were an affront to even remotely consider the word “depth” in its description.

With its photographs of forests and of specimen and drawings created by Von Siebold, its reproductions of traditional Japanese art and of scientific studies, and its occasional giving voice to humans, Tree and Soil evades descriptiveness, instead embracing an atmosphere. It asks of the viewer to think about their engagement with the natural world: when you leave your house, do you register the chipmunk’s warning signals that sound as if it were a bird? Could you tell the difference between the cardinal’s babies’ cries for food from its parent’s chirping? Or do you simply go on, get in your car, and drive away?

The book was made with the typical attention to detail that we’ve come to know from photobook making in Holland. The dust jacket can be taken off and unfolded, to reveal a double-sided poster of sorts. There are ample gatefolds whose function and necessity, however, isn’t all that clear to me: what is revealed isn’t any different than what’s already visible elsewhere (with the exception of those vending machines). Occasionally, pictures will wrap around pages (which for sure is going to rankle traditionalists).

Thus, Tree and Soil becomes its own precious object, and its preciousness only serves to enhance its overall message. You’ll have to go through the book many times. I suspect that each time, something else will have to be discovered. It is through the reproductions of scientific reports that the topic of radioactivity is being brought up. While it’s difficult to imagine how else one would go about it, that type of description almost isn’t needed. Throughout the book, it’s easy to pick up on the idea of something having gone awry.

But then, don’t Von Siebold’s specimen and beautiful drawings connect with those scientific reports? Isn’t the thinking behind them essentially the same? Couldn’t there be a straight line drawn from the Western explorer’s colonial idea of Japan as a country that needed to be deciphered, sliced and diced to the disaster caused by the consequences of the very same thinking, namely that nature’s sole purpose is to be exploited?

Turns out that radioactive materials aren’t easy to control. When they’re out of control, their terrible power will make any yōkai monster seem tame in comparison. Actually, the Japanese already have a monster created from radioactivity even though it’s not thought of as yōkai: Gojira.

What exactly will it take for us to finally take care of our natural environment? I’m writing this article as there are huge fires in the (US) American West, that clearly are one of the many consequences of global warning. Billions of years into the future, before it dies our sun will expand massively and scorch the surface of this planet, making life impossible. It’s as if our plan was to do the very same ourselves, just a lot earlier. What’s wrong with us?

The book’s colophon tells me that it’s the “[f]irst and only edition.” The publisher’s website speaks of a “unique edition of 925 copies, of which 400 copies are for sale.” If you want a copy of the book, you might have to move fast.

Tree and Soil; photographs by Antoinette de Jong and Robert Knoth; essay by Erik de Jong; 112 pages with 10 gatefolds; Hartmann Books; 2020

Rating: Photography 3.5, Book Concept 4.0, Edit 3.0, Production 5.0 – Overall 4.0

Photography in Racial Time

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In a world dominated by photographs and video, visual literacy is one of the most important skills. To be visually literate means to be able to navigate the world while being able to detect where someone is trying to tell you something about yourself or other people. I called visual literacy a skill because it is that more than anything. It is not just knowing photographs — even though for sure that is a part of it. Beyond that, it’s being able to understand how photographs operate in a given context when seen by specific viewers, how, in other words, photographs acquire what we like to call “meaning.”

Photographs don’t come with meanings, and a photograph’s meaning can change radically depending on how it is used in a specific context. In photoland, many practitioners operate only in one specific context and are puzzled by my insistence on this basic fact. Switch context, though, and what has been taken for granted often takes on very different facets. As a consequence, being visually literate does not necessarily mean being able to read photographs in just one specific context well. Instead, it’s much more important to understand the use of photographs in different contexts.

Seen that way, visual literacy centers on photography only in a very basic sense. It’s not necessarily about understanding photographs (even though that’s a large part of it). Instead, visual literacy centers on understanding visual communication — much like literacy in the world of literature doesn’t just focus on discussing vocabulary. This might sound daunting, but I think it should instead be seen as liberating: if visual literacy is a skill that relies on a method, then that’s something that can be learned, something that can be improved over time through practice.

I’m very drawn to an approach to photography that starts out by looking at pictures, to see what they show and how they show it, and that then examines how pictures are used, given the context they’re in, and how that use, given its time, ties in with larger societal and/or cultural aspects, to form a meaning that, more often than not, is not stable in time. Ultimately, such an approach amounts to cultural or societal or political criticism. A brilliant recent example is provided by Mark Sealy‘s Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time.

(An unrelated aside: formerly a voracious reader, it took me months to realize how the pandemic has disrupted my habit of reading regularly. Many back issues of the New York Review of Books — my only subscription — have been lying around unread all over the apartment, and the pile of books waiting to be read has only grown since roughly mid-March this year. One of the many books in the pile was Sealy’s — already published last year. So in that sense, this article is late. But then, it’s never too late to talk about a good book, is it?)

In the book’s chapters, Sealy dives deeply into six separate topics. In each case, he starts out with the initial photographs, to then discuss their makers, their dissemination, the original contexts, and how the photographs in their context were viewed their audience. That audience splits up into two group. The first group is the one that might have found itself depicted or that would have identified in some ways with the depicted. The second group is the one that remained an outsiders while at the same time being the intended target.

This dichotomy in audiences is one of the most important aspects in many areas of photography, in particular in photojournalistic or documentary settings. It forms the basis for the most pressing issues in photography, whether it’s the male gaze, othering, representation, etc.

The book explicitly focuses on photography’s colonial uses, so these two groups are those subjected to colonial rule and those exercising that rule. Sealy manages to accomplish a variety of things. To begin with, he discusses in detail some of photography’s most ghastly episodes, episodes that, I suspect, are not as widely known as they ought to be. Photography played a major role in most (all?) of humanity’s most recent atrocities. That role has to be understood especially since its repercussions are still with us.

For example, I don’t think anyone can engage with photography in Africa without taking into account the role photography played in the colonical context. In the first chapter, Sealy discusses Alice Seeley Harris‘ photographs of atrocities in what then was the Congo Free State. These photographs and the accompanying presentations across the UK and the US could easily be seen as the kind of revelatory material that still is being used by photojournalists today. However, the photographs’ and especially their maker’s background and motivations make this topic a lot more complex than one might naively imagine.

Sealy: “What surfaces from the images as we look back at them with the benefit of hindsight is that a multiplicity of meanings emerges, the most obvious being the scopic pleasures in looking at the African as both the exotic Other and the photographic origin of the image of the helpless victim. These historical photographs of violence in the Congo provide the perfect photographic moment for benevolent Christian ideology to work within a continued visualisation and infantilisation of the African subject.” (p. 61)

Photography cannot run away or ignore these facts any more than I, someone born in Germany, could run away or ignore the fact that my grandfathers’ generation brutally murdered millions of people during World War 2.

In this particular case, the “exotic Other” as much as the idea of the “helpless victim” (to quote Sealy’s words) are still with us. Such photographs are still being made as I write this, and they are viewed by their target audience in very similar fashions as Alice Seeley Harris’ lantern slides were by their target audience back then (except that our lantern slides are slide shows online). The onus is on their makers as much as on us as viewers to understand what is going on visually, so we can break out of what often is little more than colonial photography done with digital cameras.

I suspect that some of the chapters in Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time could serve as the basis for a whole class, given the breadth of the material and background resources covered and given the profundity of insight offered by Sealy.

For example, in chapter 2 — entitled Race, Denial and Imaging Atrocity — the famous 7 May 1945 issue of Life magazine becomes the a jump-off point for a discussion of how to picture atrocities (here: concentration camps in Nazi Germany), how to put such pictures in the context of the actions (or lack thereof) of those who present the pictures, how the pictures of an atrocity can be viewed one way by one group and another way by another, how one atrocity might invite comparisons with another, and much more.

What makes this chapter so strong is that Sealy treats the magazine as a whole, instead of dissecting it into its separate, seemingly unrelated, parts. He connects the depiction of German concentration camps with pictures of US and Russian soldiers meeting up, with pictures of Russian delegates at the landmark San Francisco conference, and more. In some ways, this is a very obvious approach: after all, all these things happened at the time. But much too often, such discussions end up being atomized, being isolated, as a result of which crucial deeper connections and insights are not to be had.

It is the making of connections across time that brings the real value of the book into focus: the reader not only learns a lot about the main issue at hand — photography’s ugly history of serving as a handmaiden of colonialism and racist violence, s/he also learns about how to connect photographs through the larger topics they relate to, which, crucially, includes an awareness of one’s own vantage point as much as knowing about someone else’s (in particular the group depicted).

I’d like to think that reading Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time will make every photographer more aware of the history of their own medium. It will also enable them to approach their own photography at a deeper level, in particular if that photography centers on other people. For those two reasons, this is an absolute must-read. Teachers in any serious photography program might want to include this book in their required-reading list.

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