Een weblog van Ben Krewinkel waarop fotoboeken besproken worden. Nieuwe, maar vooral oude en niet altijd de meest makkelijk verkrijgbare.  

Self Publish Riga 2021 I ISSP - Africa in the Photobook


We are excited to announce that from June 1 until July 1 the ISSP Gallery will host the SELF PUBLISH RIGA 2021 exhibition, dedicated to photobooks and self-publishing, one of the main events of Riga Photomonth.

The 2021 edition will be dedicated to travelling the world through books (in times when the freedom of travelling has been limited) and will feature around 150 photobooks: the 2020 Paris Photo – Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, Africa in the Photobook (curated by Ben Krewinkel), Nordic Dummy Award (curated by Antonio Cataldo and Adrià Julià) and Latvian (curated by Evita Goze), Lithuanian (curated by Paul Paper), Estonian (curated by Kulla Laas) photobooks, best photobook dummies submitted to the SELF PUBLISH RIGA open call and the installation Glass Strenči in a few words by Anna Volkova and Aleksejs Muraško.
SELF PUBLISH RIGA is organised by ISSP since 2014, programme curator – Evita Goze.
During the exhibition, we will announce the winners of the SELF PUBLISH RIGA 2021 open call.

Watch the video see the tour hosted by Evita Goze 

 In March and April I gave two talks about Africa in the Photobook. The link to the talks will follow soon.

Sunday December 6th I was interviewed by Azu Nwagbogu at ParisPhoto 2020. You can view the whole conversation on Delpire&Co's YouTube page


The upcoming issue of The PhotoBook Review (Aperture / Delpire & Co.) contains the conversation I had with Azu Nwagbogu on Africa in the Photobook. You can read it here.

This composite sketch contains all the close-up portraits A.M. Duggan-Cronin included the encyclopaedic eleven-volume set The Bantu Tribes of South Africa. It is part of a small work I'm making for LagosPhoto that deal with several issues in the book collection Africa in the Photobook.
'But these pictorial records, though of considerable ethnological value, had their limitations in that they were mostly portrait studies, and studies moreover of native males only.'
- From the general introduction to the first volume of The Bantu Tribes of South Africa (1928-1954)
'The dignity and the individuality of of the people who chose to stand in front of Duggan-Cronin's camera shine out.'
- From the introduction written by Nelson Mandela to the exhibition 'Compound to Kraal', May 2001
'By the early decades of the twentieth century, a quarter million Africans laboured in South African mines, producing forty percent of the world's gold and the lion's share of its diamond. This was hardly the forest primeval conjured in Dark Continent travelogues. Despite these facts - or perhaps because of them - the image of Africans as traditional folk, clinging to their tribal traditions, retained a deep hold on the white South African imagination.'
- From The Black Photo Album by Santu Mofokeng


On May 17th I was invited by Yumi Goto and Moto Yoshikuni to have an online conversation at the Reminders Photography Stronghold in Tokio about the project Africa in the Photobook.

Recently I've been working to help Omar Badsha with his great initiative South African History Online'to add titles to a list of photobooks from South Africa. Especially on titles produced before the 1950s. The earliest book I could find was produced in 1861 made by Joseph Kirkman and was titled "The Progress of his Royal Highness Prince Alfred Ernest Albert through the Cape Colony, British Kaffraria, the Orange Free State, and Port Natal, in the year 1860". The book contains tipped in photographs and 9 woodcuts Charles Davidson Bell. The most interesting photo shows Moshoeshoe I King Moshoeshoe or Moshesh (c. 1786 – 11 March 1870) of the Basotho people of Lesotho with his ministers.

From November 14th till Februari 23rd 2019 Fotodok shows the group exhibition Joint Memory: Photographic Fragments shows. Among many other beautiful projects, it hosts the first exhibition that followed from collecting and researching photobooks from and about Africa. 
For the exhibition, I selected books from Mozambique, Angola, Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, which is just a fragment of the whole collection and research. All of these countries were leading liberation wars against Portugal between the 1960s and early 1970s. After gaining independence in 1975, civil wars broke out in Angola and Mozambique. Photobooks, magazines, and other photography based printed matter were key propaganda tools. Produced in large print runs, publications were supposed to agitate the masses. Three main perspectives feature in the installation’s publications: the local national parties, the Portuguese, and those of foreign journalists. The books, each having unique features, also share a lot in common regarding how they use photography, what stories they choose to tell, and what visual language they choose for that. Recurrent motifs show how photography is used in the photobook form to create a shared vision of how events unfolded.All the books on display are shown until February 2019 on the special Fotodok page of the website www.africainthephotobook.com.All installation shots © Studio Hans Wilschut

On October 12th I will give an informal talk on books made by the liberation movements in Portuguese Africa as part of a performance/talk by Catarina Boieiro and Rachel Schafer. The venue will be Institut pour la Photographie in Lille (France). Check here for more information.'Livres de photographie et mouvements de libération en AfriqueEntre le document militant et l’objet esthétique, les livres de photographie réalisés autour des années 1970 dans les pays africains de langue portugaise sur – et pour – les mouvements indépendantistes posent une réflexion singulière sur le rôle et la puissance de l’image photographique. Ce projet vise à retracer le parcours de ce corpus, à travers une exposition, des rencontres et des films.Raquel Schefer est chercheuse, cinéaste et programmatrice. Docteure en Études cinématographiques et audiovisuelles de l’Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3. Elle a publié de nombreux ouvrages et articles et enseigne à Paris, Rennes, Buenos Aires et Mexico.Catarina Boieiro possède un Diplôme de Recherche en Arts et Langages de l’EHESS. Elle est commissaire indépendante et travaille parallèlement dans la communication, programmation et production au sein de centres d’art et événements culturels dédiés à l’image et aux arts visuels contemporains.'

On September 21st I will give a talk at Dialogue Vintage Photography in Amsterdam.Check here for more info.

"De eerste (koloniale) fotoboeken gericht op een groot publiek verschenen in de laatste twee decennia van de 19e eeuw, het moment dat de Europese verovering van Afrika een beslissende fase inging. Tijdens de lezing zal Ben Krewinkel in het kader van zijn project Africa in the Photobook in vogelvlucht enkele exemplarische fotoboeken die verschenen tussen 1885 en 1960 bespreken. Deze boeken werpen licht op de wijze waarop fotoboeken mede bepalend zijn geweest voor de steeds veranderende beeldvorming over het continent. Er wordt stilgestaan bij de wijze waarop avonturiers, ambtenaren, militairen, missionarissen en zendelingen, etnografen en ondernemers, maar ook de lokale bevolking zelf, vanuit zowel overeenkomstige als uiteenlopende motieven tegemoet kwamen aan de fascinatie voor het exotische en onbekende bij het, hoofdzakelijk, Europese publiek en daarmee een bijdrage leverden bijdroegen een ernstig vertekend beeld van Afrika. "

On February 28th the book Photobook Belge 1854-now edited by Tamara Berghmans will be published. I'm happy to have contributed by writing on ten books on Belgian Congo to which a whole chapter has been dedicated. You can order a copy here.On March 21st a symposium on the Belgium Photobook will be hosted in Antwerp at which I will be one of the speakers.

I'm happy to announce that the Mondriaan Fund decided to accept the grant application for the research and writing process of Africa in the Photobook.  In the next year I can work on  research and write the manuscript for the first volume of Africa in the Photobook which is due to be published in 2020 by Fourthwall Books. At the same time research will be done for the second volume.

Saturday 22 September 201812.00 - 13.30Ben Krewinkel (founder, Africa in the Photobook), Daniel Boetker-Smith  (founder, Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive) and Ángel Luis González (founder, PhotoIreland Foundation and the Mobile Library project) will each present four photobooks, two historical and two contemporary examples from regions of their focus. The audience will be able to engage with the physical copies of the books, while guests will also introduce the goals of their projects and the ways they research, collect, distribute and showcase publications. See more

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)

On June 1st I gave a talk at the Fotobuch Festival in Kassel. Met very nice people who shared many great ideas to take the project Africa in the Photobook one step further. Next step will be doing some proper research on the collection.
©Thomas Wiegand
©John Gossage

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)

On May 26th I finished the design and construction of a small exhibition at het Watersnoodmuseum in Ouwerkerk, with a publication on the photographs Dominique Berretty (1925-1980) made after the floods in Zeeland in 1953. Thanks to Jolanthe BerrettyKees KnulstSjaak van Loo and Els Kerremans.

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)

I will be giving a talk on 'African Photobooks' at Fotobookfestival Kassel.

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)

A small article on Africa in the Photobook in Diptyk41.

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)

Making some progress on both the dummy for the sequel to A Possible Life. and the production on a photobook based on the collection on the website Africa in the Photobook.

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)

In the next days I will be a guest-instagrammer for 10x10 Photobooks.

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)Srefidensi on tour

 On June 27th I will give a talk about some photobooks dealing with Surinam (Dutch Guyana) at Fotodok in Utrecht. This talk will be part of a series of mini-symposia called Srefidensi on tour. Looking forward discussing these books with Sara Blokland and book expert Carl Haarnack.

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)Srefidensi on tourBanjir! Banjir!

Yesterday the book Banjir! Banjir! was published as a token of gratitude to Mr Henk Nieboer, who stepped down from the Witteveen+Bos Board of Directors in April 2017 having served his term. I was asked to work with Cynthia Boll, Henk Nieboer, Peter van der Mark and Antoinette van Kolhoorn on the concept, edit and design of the book containing photographs by Cynthia Boll. The book has been masterly printed by Marcel Meesters and his company MM Artbook Printing."Flooded houses, streets and squares. People desperately struggling to keep themselves and their belongings dry. Others who are seemingly indifferent to the floods, patiently waiting for a bus with the water lapping around their knees. The Indonesian metropolis of Jakarta faces many complex water management challenges. "- Henk Nieboer

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)Srefidensi on tourBanjir! Banjir!Africa in the Photobook

Africa in the Photobook is about the changing visual representation of Africa as expressed through the medium of the photobook.
I'm looking for books made by African artists or book printed in African countries, so please share if you have information.
By choosing books I don't want to suggest to agree with its content, since many books on Africa tend to be highly propagandistic and sometimes blantant paternalistic and/or even racist.

In Memoriam: David Goldblatt (GUP Magazine)Srefidensi on tourBanjir! Banjir!Africa in the PhotobookSrefidensi

For the coming months I'm working on a project commissioned by Srefidensi. The website will publish at least five essays on photobooks dealing with Surinam, or Dutch Guinea. You can read the first one here