“Paul Strand’s photographs illumine our world. While not reporting, they communicate. They form a portrait of Ghana, Ghana as a paradigm of African nations, the ‘model colony’ and the first to gain independence. Seeing with intuition the underlying unity of a continent, and feeling with humanism the underlying character of its peoples, Paul Strand photographed Ghana to show us Africa, to celebrate nations ‘rejoining their history’ after the impositions of colonization. Ghana’s art is here – her past, and her people and their politics.
Politics: the continent called ‘dark’ and ‘mysterious’ becomes also complex and confusing; but this remarkable book provides a guide. Basil Davidson, whose books portray Africa admirably, has written an essay ‘to deepen Strand’s portrait without repeating it’. In the early 1960’s, Davidson introduced Paul Strand to Kwame Nkrumah, the young republic’s president; now, he introduces us to Nkrumah’s country, to its two-thousand-year past and its two-decade present.
Davidson’s knowledge is wide, his tone rational, his pace measured. Violence and upheaval gain a clarifying perspective. An ideal accompaniment for Strand’s photographs – which have a stillness, a concentration, with a distillation of a place and not just a taste of it – Davidson’s text takes us through the events that made the place, sorting them out meticulously. Pressing on firmly, he shows how colonization happened, what it meant, and what Africa faces in its wake.
Unquestionably one of the greatest of photographers, Paul Strand celebrates a sixty-year career with this volume of his photographic art: ninety-three pictures – chosen by him from the four hundred which he and his wife Hazel brought back from ten thousand miles of travel in Ghana – every one of them a work to engage the eye and challenge the mind. From this book comes the gift Davidson ascribes to Nkrumah: of lifting the everyday to a level of meaning where it becomes exciting and memorable, ‘of giving life its full importance’.”
Indringende portretten in zwart-wit. Tijdloos.
Voor een beeld van de foto’s, kijk op Africainthephotobook.com
Afmetingen boek: 30x26cm