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Best Books 2014: Laia Abril

Best Books 2014 Best Books 2014 Laia Abril Best Books picks from photographer, journalist and book-maker Laia Abril.

By Rafal Milach

The Winners is the kind of book you feel you need to have in your library and I badly wanted to have in my hands. It not only collects a series of intriguing, intelligent, awkwardly beautiful portraits of the most outlandish kind of Belarusian winners, but also the clever project concept that deserved a book indeed; in this case, a multi layer narrative with a sleek but clever design approach.
By Mikhael Subotzky & Patrick Waterhouse

Ponte City is an epic project that has resulted in a superb book. The vast amount of material the authors collected of many years of the life inside this fifty-four-storey building that dominates Johannesburg's skyline made the process of filtering and conceptualizing it very challenging, but was realized thanks to cohesive design. A very important history made with strenuous dedication.
By Petra Stavast
Idea Books

Petra Stavast’s book is a great example of how editing used as a storytelling tool and not as a mere sequencing of images, can lead a project to another level. A complex puzzle and crossroads construction of beauty to find the intriguing real story behind Ramya’s life in a very humble and delicate way.
By Peter van Agtmael
Red Hook Editions

Peter’s book is one you actually have to read, and not only literally, as it has a significant amount of text, but because the images, the sequence and the compositions are the kind that make you think deeply, force you to go back and forth, make you leave it for a while and return to it to help you understand one of the most complex contemporary stories.
By Valerio Spada
Twin Palms Edition

Careful, courageous and visceral research and psychological portrait by Valerio Spada on a very harsh reality. In addition to creating exceptional narrative tension, Gomorrah Girl uses photography as evidences, creating a perfect atmosphere for understanding an intrinsic and intimate story about these female teens dealing with their violent daily lives.
By Paolo Woods & Arnaud Robert

*Leta is a low-cost Creole language edition of Wood's and Robert's book State produced specifically for the people of Haiti. State was published in 2013 and can be viewed here.

Leta is the exemplification of how democratic photography can be, when you want it to be. The Creole/French new version of the fantastic book by Woods on the dynamics of power in one of the poorest and punished societies  State, 2013, is now printed by and for Haitians, a meaningful example of the social power of documentary photography.
By Stephen Gill
Nobody in association with AMC

With Best Before End Stephen Gill shakes again the photography status quo with agitated yet poetic images of the acceleration of our society, by using energy drinks as an integral part of his processing. The result: a sublime surreal book narrative of an aqueous collective anxiety.
By Max Pinckers

Max Pinckers’ book, a modern fairy tale, balances a very special cinematographic narrative by playing between reality and fiction as a powerful metaphor for love. The dreamy approach to the story and the strong conceptualization of the plot is achieved through a series of very refreshing images and sequences.
By Erik Kessels

Erik Kessels continues his epic journey of humanizing photography in the digital age by showing the beauty of the error. Taking advantage of the great power of irony, In Almost Every Picture makes us reflect on the free will of the decisive moment.
By Iñaki Domingo
RM / Kursala / Here Press

Iñaki Domingo revises, questions and turns upside down the family album. Putting together a collective project as a ubiquitous curator and the most unobjective editor of his own family memories, he achieves to make what in principle would seem like a mundane summer memento into an interesting meta-family-album.
Piero Martinello
Laia Abril is a photographer, journalist and a book maker raised in Barcelona. Four years ago she started her multi platform long-term project on “the uncomfortable aspects of the Eating Disorders” during her residency at FABRICA – the Communication Research Center in Italy. Meanwhile, she was also part of the editorial team at COLORS Magazine as a staff photographer and consultant photo editor. After releasing the multimedia A Bad Day and the self-published fanzine Thinspiration, her new third chapter, The Epilogue (Dewi Lewis, 2014) was shortlisted at the Aperture-Paris Photo Book Award. Abril also founded together with the Art Director Ramon Pez a Book Making Team, and just released the monograph on sex-webcam performers Tediousphilia (Musée de l’Elysée, 2014). Abril is represented by INSTITUTE.