I just got one of the newest books from KEHRER, DREAM CITY from Anoek Steketee and Eefje Blankevoort.
Its always tough when a lot of people who's opinion I value keep telling me how good something is before I get it, sometimes its just disappointing, but not the case here.
Anoek (photos) and Eefje (text) travelled to 10 different countries and photographed in amusement parks, especially in places where we don't expect them such as Rwanda, Lebanon or Turkmenistan. Its not that it is surprising that there are amusement parks there, its just surprising to see how similar they look to the ones we (or I ) know from the states or europe. Eefje's text about each country and park addresses the socially relevant current and historical affairs which have shaped each country and through interviews and anecdotes reveals the roles of each of these parks in their respective cultures. I haven't figured it out yet, not that I am really trying to break down the technicalities, but Anoek has a way of lighting which creates an almost surreal edge between staged and street photography. Its more than just the off-camera flash which makes them into stages, its also the moments she photographs, they seem removed from any surrounding space.
The book is a co-production between KEHRER and FOTODOK, which is a Utrecht based space for documentary photography which goes beyond the usual editorial style of journalistic photography. KEHRER is making some of the most beautiful books at the moment and FOTODOK has based its mission on promoting work which finds just the right edge between storytelling and socially relevant power of "slow journalism", but with keeping a very high standard of interesting artistic photography.
Thus DREAM CITY has found its perfect home.
There is a show up right now at the Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.
order a copy here: