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Thursday, 5 July 2018

Best Pigeon Book Award: ...goes to Asya Zhetvina

Congratulations to Rorhof books for winning a prize at Arles for The Pigeon Photographer. It's one of a number of great books on pigeons that has appeared over the years.

My personal favourite is Asya Zhetvina's The Memoirs of Yan Khtovich. This tells the story of the Soviet Spy Pigeons of the Second World War.

This is what Asya says about it....

Made in '...the form of a personal diary and memoir composed by the leader of the group,Yan Khtovich, the book builds a narrative through the combination of written accounts, images, documents, collages and contemporary photographs printed with old printing techniques.The result is an account of this experimental operation, and the reader is guided into believing the accuracy of the story with a mindfully tailored path of historical and personal facts about the so-called “author”Yan Khtovich and his work for the Spy Pigeon project.'

The fact that it steps on one side of the line of credibility (and I used to think it was the wrong side, but now I think it's the right side) could be one reason why the book is such fun, and Asya takes such glee in making it. Lying should be fun, and in The Memoirs of Yan Khtovich it most assuredly is.

There has been pleasure in the making and that matters. It's a wonderful book and if I had a Best Pigeon Book Award, then Asya would be getting it. It was intially published in an artist's book edition of 50, buit is now being published in a larger edition of 200, and you can buy the book by emailing Asya at azhetvina@gmail.com.

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