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British Journal of Photography #7890

The December Issue

 

We interview four photographers about their latest books, each focusing on an aspect of contemporary American society, from Andres Gonzalez’ exploration of mass shootings at US schools, to Eli Durst’s oblique study of community. Plus Gerry Badger assesses the legacy of Robert Frank and The Americans.

Setting out to document a southern US state community in the first year of Trump’s presidency, Robbie Lawrence found the greater narrative lay in the Ogeechee River that runs through it.

In the bland spaces of suburban church basements, Eli Durst finds people searching for purpose and meaning through their communal activities.

Visiting the sites of mass shootings in seven American schools, Andres Gonzalez considers the ways that communities grieve and recover from events that shatter their lives.

Ben Brody went to Iraq fuelled by ideals that “did not survive first contact with the enemy”. Fifteen years later, he reflects on his time there as a combat photographer, drawing on his images of US service personnel in their home away from home.

In Agenda, we talk to writer/curator Antwaun Sargent about his first book, which celebrates a new forefront of genre-bending photographers “using their cameras to create contemporary portrayals of black life”. Plus we preview a selection of the latest books, exhibitions and festivals, including Foto/Industria in Bologna and Bamako in Mali.

From a utopian vision of kibbutzim (Yael Malka’s Kinneret) to life-changing body alterations (Manon Ouimet’s Altered) and gay hookup ads (Mitchell Moreno’s Body Copy), this month’s Projects section explores subjects of personal intrigue to their creators.

Gerry Badger reflects on the continued legacy of Robert Frank and The Americans, a book that forever changed the course of photographic history with its acute spontaneity and personal slant. And elsewhere in our Intelligence section, we talk to Beth Wilkinson about commissioning for Lindsay magazine, and Damien Demolder Test-drives the Fujifilm GFX 100, a mirrorless medium format camera that delivers a 100MP resolution at half the price of its nearest rival.