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The 2019 photo books list. The 10 publications we loved above all others

A very special shortlist of our favorite photo books of 2019

2019 was a great year regarding the creativity in photo book publishing and we are very happy for this.

We collected brilliant experiments and works both from an international group of independent and established photographers and publishers. So we decided to do a list of our ten favorite photo books published during the 2019 in a bizarre and subjective order.

First of all we have a question:
What is the power of these photo books? We found that the power of photo publishing is to discover something new by looking through the photographers’ points of view.

Here are the 10 photo books we loved. Enjoy!

HEREAFTER by Federico Clavarino, 2019

This photo book marks a return to the origins and a research in the family’s archives, in fact it’s based on the true story of the photographer’s grandparents.

Hereafter is a photographic reflection on the European colonial history through photographs, letters, drawings, objects found his grandparents’ place. John and Mary Phillips lived and worked between Libya, Sudan, Oman, Jordan and Cyprus and they witnessed the progressive decline of the British Empire as all these countries were marked by a colonial past. The result is an honest, complex and exciting storytelling.

Pages: 264
Dimension: 24 x 30,5 cm
Format: Softcover
Publisher: Skinnerboox

The Coast by Sohrab Hura, 2019

The book awarded at the PhotoBook Award 2019 as the book of the year.

This book has the ability to transport the viewer in credible and incredible world, forcing us to deal with the concept of reality.
Soham Gupta takes us to the Indian coasts, between rites and festivals with a particular narrative made of very original alterations.
Everything is a great success in this project. It can be perceived also as a study on the possibilities of sequencing, meaning and interpretation of the image.

Pages: 224
Dimension: 24 x 17.8 cm
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Self-published; Ugly Dog

By the Sea by Markéta Luskačová

By The Sea Markéta Luskačová

The title of the photo book is the titles of an exhibition at the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol.
It is a tribute to the work of Marketa Luskacova and a gift for contemporaries who can discover a glimpse of life on the north-east coast of Great Britain in the end of the 70s.
The humanity that comes out of these black and white shots make every shot very special.

The photographer fell in love with Whitley Bay and the people who had fun on the sea side, despite the harsh climate. This is a sincere documentation of which the photographer, a member of Magnum from 1976 to 1980, was actually the protagonist of that style of life. Moreover, as the Norwegian photographer Morten Krongvolt said to her:
“We don’t photograph things as they are, we photograph them based on how we are.”

Pages: 132
Dimension: 20x28cm
Format: Hard cover
Publisher: RRB

Aya by Yann Gross and Arguine Escandon

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Among the pages of this book, the Swiss photographer Yann Gross createda poetic and refined synthesis between the story of Charles Kroehle – 19th century French photographer who died in the Amazon – and his own project developed in collaboration with the Spanish photographer Arguiñe Escandón.

So the two photographers embarked on a journey through the inhabitants and landscapes of the jungle and took beautiful, sometimes mysterious images: a documentation according to Yann Gross, research of the relationship between people and the environment according to Escandon.

Pages: 118
Dimension: 14,6 x 20,3 cm
Format: Hard cover
Publisher: RM

Scene by Alex Majoli

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The scenes in this wonderful and flawless photo book are everyday scenes, shots taken during demonstrations, protests, conflicts. What unites them is a strong drama, a theatrical construction. This means that the people portrayed are like actors in front of his camera and the very powerful flash that illuminates the scenes. This stylistic choice inevitably leads us to reflect on theatrical aspects implicit in photography and in a world that we now desire and make more and more “photographable”.

Pages: 80
Dimension: 38 x 22.5 cm
Format: Brossura
Publisher: MACK con Le Bal, Paris

EARSHOT A Photographic Collection of Stories on Deafness and Hearing Loss by Kate Disher-Quill

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It is very difficult to fully understand the state of deafness, but art is also this: an access tool to unknown worlds. Deafness is too. Australian photographer Kate Disher-Quill takes us to an unexplored and apparently incomprehensible world to fight prejudice and silence on the theme that have been part of her life for years. A story made of hidden hearing aids until an article by another deaf photographer helped her to accept herself. Earshot obliges us to make an effort of identification and inclusion. And it convinces us brilliantly through intimate portraits that are never rhetorical.

Pages: 176
Dimension: 28 x 21,6 cm
Format: Hard cover
Publisher: Black Inc.

The state of water di Brad Temkin

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The question behind this book is: what is the state of the water? At a time of great climate change (more or less) for all to see, the award-winning American photographer Brad Temkin focuses on the transformation of water and its presence in nature.

Only a few know that most of the rainwater is considered waste, however over 700 cities recover and reuse wastewater and rainwater with combined sewage systems, recycling them for agricultural use and even drinking water till 2019. Far beyond the simple description of this process, Temkin masterfully captured the unexpected beauty in the architecture of the water purification plants and the landscape in which they are inserted. His sometimes strange and almost surreal shots are part of a reflection that is not at all obvious on the relationship between man, nature and technology.

Pages: 148
Dimension: 11x13cm
Format: Hard cover
Publisher: Radius Books

Entropy by Ari Marcopoulos

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With this title borrowed from thermodynamics, the photographer and director Ari Marcopoulos takes up an urban landscape that is made up of disorder, confusion, anguish, abundance, serenity and resignation at the same time.

In general, entropy can be defined just as the measure of the degree of equilibrium reached by a system at a given moment. In our frenetic society, the photos we can admire in Entropia offer us flashes of serenity stolen in different landscapes as reassuring oases and organized in this work that seems a synthesis of forty years of research in the streets of Tokyo , Lebanon, New Orleans, Brooklyn with an eye to all humanity.

Pages: 64
Dimension: 24×33 cm
Format: Soft cover
Publisher: ROMA Publications

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ROOTED by Henk Wildschut

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After Shelter and Ville de Calais, Rooted completes the photographic trilogy describing the life of refugees and migrants in Calais waiting for a new home. while they find in small gestures a way to build their own daily life and a “home”. In this last part, the flowers and plants that grow in jars and in very small corners of the ground are first of all signs of strength and hope cultivated with love by refugees from Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia. Their fragile roots seek new ground to call home.

Pages: 164
Dimension: 25×19 cm
Format: Soft cover
Publisher: Henk Wildschut

Young New York by Ethan James Green

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The young New Yorkers in Ethan James Green’s photographs are non-binary creative young people who are chasing a dream. Hari Nef who was the first openly transgender model, wrote the preface and said that these portraits have something revealing.

There is nothing sweet in these portraits, they are brazenly beautiful and they force us to deal with a stereotyped beauty and the perception we have of trans, non-binary and queer community. An important project for the photographer, for the people portrayed who share a passion for fashion. The point is how we look, and how portrayed people want to be seen. for this reason each page of this book must be looked at for a long time.

Pages: 128
Dimension: 21×26 cm
Format: Hard cover
Publisher: Aperture

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