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Fantastic links - books etc.

You just absolutely have to check this out:

Photographer's name, from Mozambique, is Mario Macilau - he's also got a website:

but really, read the BBC feature first - since it's told much better than I can sumarize it here, I won't bother. Beautiful, sensitive B&W pics with stories to tell, such as are sorely needed in our troubled times as a reminder of each other's vulnerable yet rich humanity, both near and afar.

This brings me neatly - or bluntly, after all they only share a continent in common - to the tail-end of my latest photo-book binge, with:

Seydou Keïta, Photographs, Bamako, Mali 1948-1963 (Steidl): beautiful photos in a beautifully printed book - I just wish it were slimmer ! This is a case where I really don't mind sounding like a philistine, in fact the "comprehensiveness" of this book is the only reason I'd put off purchasing it for a long time, irked in principle by a certain current of books whether on photography or anything else, aiming to "present it all" - and in this particular case by an excessive number of pages threatening to drown the quality of each photograph. Still, portrait photography at its finest. And a window to a particular time and place we scarecely know about - that would be high up on my list of time-capsule destinations !

Eric Klemm, Silent Warriors: same complaint as with Seydou Keïta if I'm allowed to be fussy. If not, more truly exceptional portrait photography, a stunning, modern counterpoint to Edward S. Curtis' famous body of work on Native Americans.

Stephen Shore (that's the book's title, a monography published by Fundacion Mapfre and Aperture): a combination of deathly dull and stunning, revelating work that for me encapsulate the essence and soul of photography - all strangely united by an evident common thread ! My absolute, run-away favourites are: West Fifteenth Street and Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, May 15, 1974; Broad Street, Regina, Saskatchewan, August 17, 1974; Second Street East and South Main Sreet, Kalispell, Montana, August 22, 1974; Presidio, Texas, February 21, 1975; Beverly Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, Los Angeles, California, June 21, 1975; Ginger Shore, Causeway Inn, Tampa, Florida, November 17, 1977; Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California, August 13, 1979.

Martin Parr, The last resort: just bloody amazing ! colour, composition, expression, just about everything. This book's a classic, and one first published in the 80's, so I guess my appreciation is hardly news - but really, if you don't have this book on your shelf, get it.

Francesco Cito, Afghanistan La guerra infinita: rather brings to minf Steele-Perkins' book on Afghanistan. Sensitive, powerful pictures telling of the sad, devastating spell of never-ending war and strife befalling Afghanistan.

Klavdij Sluban, Go East: a great book of grainy, often dreamy pictures loosely threaded together by the Trans-Siberian railway. I totally dig this style of (travel) photography. For more fantastic examples, check out (older acquisitions of mine): Siegfried, Far East (one of my very favourite books), Marco d'Anna, Le Marin et le Photographe; André Lejarre, Africaine.

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