Struggle - Magnum Photos - Book Review by Piotrek Ziolkowski
Whilst waiting for a pizza I popped into the Elizabeth's Bookshop for a quick look at their Photography Section. This is what I found. 8.95$ for 64 pages of selected photographs from Magnum Photos Agency.
The short description at the back reads: "Man's actions and commitments, seen through image of the main international conflicts since the inter-war years. Street fighting, resistance, militancy, years, wars, a survey...of outstanding photojournalism as covered by the greatest photoreporters."
Some of the most iconic images of 20th century are mixed with less known yet powerful photographs. Front cover is a famous and controversial Fallen Soldier by Robert Capa. A quick search in Google will reveal a very similar looking photo by Capa of a different soldier falling in the same spot... A protesting girl holding a flower in front of a line of National Guard by Marc Riboud. Tank Man on Tienanmen Square by Stuart Franklin.
Other pages show photographs like a Group of Combatants before the Guard's counter-attack in Nicaragua by Susan Meiselas. You can't help but notice the mismatched clothes and brightly coloured masks making for perfect targets... Combatants at prayer from Afghanistan by James Nachtwey and their pink, almost feminine fingernails contrasting with the rifles. A Somali soldier high on Qat to cheat hunger by Philip Jones Griffiths.
This are the photos that give news and articles a face. Dry and non personal information on far away and past conflicts becomes real. They force us to think and question the world around us...
There are still a few other books from the series left at the store. Photographs from archives of Magnum on topics such as: Birth, Walls, Couples, Film Stars. I highly recommend them - they all contain great photos.
Oh, one more thing. If you're looking for a portrait photographer in Perth or Fremantle get in touch with me.