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Book of the Week: A Pick by Andrew Fedynak


Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Andrew Fedynak Andrew Fedynak selects A People's History of Pittsburgh by edited by Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar as Book of the Week.
A People's History of Pittsburgh
 Edited by Melissa Catanese and Ed PanarSpaces Corners, 2015.
This week's Book of the Week pick comes from Andrew Fedynak who has selected A People's History of Pittsburgh edited by Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar from Spaces Corners.

"In an age of overloaded super saturated media, a local community may be one of the core remaining principals that can help ground a balanced life. A People's History of Pittsburgh forces us to consider the memories we've accumulated as a community, and the paths we've traveled (a nod to Howard Zinn with that title, too). Living in Richmond, Virginia, a locals-centric city that prides itself on its unique small town culture, I can relate to the similarities found in these family archive photographs of Pittsburgh. The individual human interactions that are displayed instead show the universality that binds all of us together as the even larger community of the Human Race. We are all a product of the snapshots taken throughout our lives by some overzealous Uncle or Aunt. These photographs make me create imaginary histories behind each one. Stories about lives I've never lived.

In many ways the book functions as a photo album, a collective memory of Pittsburgh. It also operates as a actual physical archive of times past. It seems to jump around without a blatantly defined overall subject or theme to the greater sequence of the photographs, much as the memories in our minds become jumbled without a definitive sense of order. But that is the illusion of the book's subtlety, as it is full of intentional photographic pairings, short sequences mirroring/referencing visual themes, and an ending that climaxes in a massive assemblage of photographic thoughts. The project is the creation of Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar in conjunction with the Hillman Photography Initiative at Carnegie Museum of Art, by which the photographs were sourced through participants' submissions. Beautifully printed and designed, the book's small size at only 5.25 x 6.5 inches gives it an added intimacy. I wouldn't hesitate to throw it into my bag to take down the street to show to some friends. I'm curious if some residents of Pittsburgh have thought about doing that very same thing. I've returned to this book a number of time since I've purchased it as I've come to find hidden gems and wonderings with in it about my own past and future. Will we still have snapshots like these to be able to collect into albums for future generations to experience? I wonder... However I can answer that this book is worth a careful study to see humanity through Pittsburgh's eyes, and enjoy our daily lives through others' snapshots."—Andrew Fedynak

Purchase Book

A People's History of Pittsburgh. By edited by Melissa Catanese and Ed PanarSpaces Corners, 2015.
A People's History of Pittsburgh. By edited by Melissa Catanese and Ed PanarSpaces Corners, 2015.


Andrew Fedynak (Hartford Art School MFA) is a photographer and photobook publisher operating Zatara Press. Formally of Asheville, North Carolina, his photographs are often found around his current home in Richmond, Virginia and in other locations as moments occur.




 
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