the time to read them...

Books I have read. More for me than for you, but I guess that depends on who you are. If you stalk me, than this will probably be more useful for you than me.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Material World

Material World

Man this book is so good. It is beautiful and painful and humbling and awesome.

The author recently wrote "Hungry Planet" and I requested it after hearing about it on NPR. A coworker who likes a lot of the books I get asked if I had read this one, his previous work, and lent it to me. The concept is that a photographer lives with the statistically average family in different countries for a week, and finally takes a photo of them with the majority of their worldly possessions outside their home. The American family is a hardcore Baptist family in Texas. One of the best parts is a little blurb by the photographer about their experience. The Bosnian family and the Iraqi family are particularly heartbreaking. The grandmother in the Bosnian family hasn't ventured outside in years because they live in a warzone. She comes out to take the photo and ends up happily talking with people she has not seen in a long time. The Iraqi instance was the only one where the government of the country chose which family the book could use. The photographer mentions that although the family was great, it was the most frustrating experience ever, since the government told her what she could and could not take pictures of. One of her photos, of a woman all in black in a bombed out, blackened hull of a basement with funeral flower wreaths all around was completely not explained, but among the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen. I spent some time trying to find an online version, or at least a contact for the photographer as to how to purchase the photo with no luck. There is no explanation of the photo, unlike most of those in the book, but it's great. As is the rest of this book. Sometimes you can read a thousand articles, but pictures like these really show the difference. I also combed the author's website for info on what happened to this family, but could find no info.


Post a Comment

<< Home