The FOTODOK Book Club is the podium for stories from photo books. In this Paris Edition live talkshow, photographer and photobook lover Rob Hornstra interviews the storytellers – photographers, designers and publishers. They share special stories on a variety of subjects from their latest photobooks.
During this 27th edition, the Book Club wil be organized for the first time outside the Netherlands in Atelier Néerlandais in Paris where the FOTODOK exhibition Earthlings can be seen. Rob Hornstra will talk to Bieke Depoorter, Rahim Fortune and Rafal Milach about their latest publications.
We hope to see you in Paris but we will livestream the Book Club too!
Bieke Depoorter – Agata
In October 2017, Bieke Depoorter met Agata in a strip club in Paris. Over the next three years, Bieke and Agata collaborated intensely, creating a small alternative universe that served as a container for them to explore questions they each had regarding identity, performance, and representation. The result is a project that never lands on any sort of conclusive truth, instead highlighting the slippery nature of truth in situations where power, responsibility, and control are in a constant state of flux.
This book’s design is, like the dynamic it examines, complex and constantly shifting. Its contents are laid out chronologically, and the book is Japanese bound, with perforations on the fold. This leaves the reader with the choice of whether to tear open the pages and see a hidden story; alternative narratives, versions of truth that do not fit squarely with the truth the photographer originally presents.
Rahim Fortune – I can’t stand to see you cry
Rahim Fortune’s father appears in only one photograph in “I can’t stand to see you cry,” but he is the book’s animating presence. The portrait shows the older man propped up in bed, with an oxygen tube over his nose, gripping his son’s hand, which reaches out from behind the camera. Fortune took it last spring, when he returned from Brooklyn, where he lives, to his home town of Kyle, Texas, outside of Austin, to help care for his father in the final months of his battle against A.L.S. Fortune, who is twenty-seven, found himself in the new role of caretaker, as the covid-19 pandemic was accelerating and protests against police killings were spreading across the country. Between shifts at his father’s bedside, he took his camera into the streets of a city that he knew intimately but which he now set about photographing with a new urgency born of his dad’s illness.
“Pointing the camera into the abyss—that’s what that energy was,” he told me recently. “All the moments that I was away from the house, I was just thinking about him. And everything was intentional. There were no wasted movements.”
Rafal Milach – Strike
Since 2019, Milach, together with sixteen fellow photographers, has been a co-creator of the Archive of Public Protests (APP), a platform for gathering documentation of social actions and grassroots initiatives that have opposed political decisions executed in violation of principles of democracy and human rights. Strike is a piece of this archive.
Strike is a visual record of the protests that began across Poland on October 22, 2020, and which persisted in various forms over the ensuing months. Strike examines one of the most significant formation processes contemporary Polish society has experienced.