I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...
Wednesday, 12 October 2011
James Mollison and Nuruddin Farah
I enjoyed seeing James Mollison talking about his Dadaab refugee camp (population 370,000 and rising) pictures and the portraits he made of Somalis in the camp - all with an Avedonesque white backdrop to isolate the figures. Which reminds me of Paul Close's fabulous Snakebox Odyssey - even if that is completely different.
Mollison touches on why he has a white backdrop and raises questions of if we should show the normality, show the horror, show the backdrop, don't show the backdrop? Which way should it go? Or should it go all ways?
Show the complexity maybe? I liked seeing the camp best of all in the video, the shops, the restaurant and the guy who was getting married. What is his story I wonder? What happens at night, what are the politics of the camp? Does anyone ever leave?
And at the same time I'm enjoying Nuruddin Farah's tremendous From a Crooked Rib, a Somali man's eye view of a Somali woman's eye view.