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Best Books 2015: Colin Pantall

Best Books 2015 Best Books 2015 Colin Pantall 2015 Best Books picks from Colin Pantall.

By Ivars Gravlejs

This is one of my favorite books of all time. It’s a description of school life made from the point of view of a schoolboy (that’s what Gravlejs was when he made the pictures. He says). It’s angry, sarcastic and fun, filled with an energy that feels totally familiar.
By Olivia Arthur

This is a beautiful book that takes a familiar story and uses the book form, and in particular the paper form, to give it new layers and depths. The book is printed on transparent paper so Arthur’s fictional retelling of Dubai’s transformation over the last 50 years becomes a layered thing of magic.
By Laura El-Tantawy

El Tantawy immerses herself and then goes beyond the immediate, using noisy color images that capture both the excitement and immediacy of the Tahrir Square demonstrations but also captures the fear and anxieties that preceded and followed these seminal events in Egypt’s history.
The Floods*
By Joseph Wright

The twin themes of Swindon and Edgelands mentioned on Joe Wright’s website didn’t sound promising, but this book was a gorgeous surprise. In a book that portrays recent floods that plagued the UK between 2012 and 2014, Wright reinvents the pastoral to create an England that is instantly recognizable but also quite unique.

*This title is out-of-print. Email us to be notified if copies become available.
Life is Elsewhere*
By Sohrab Hura
Ugly Dog

This is a document of life, love, and in particular, of Hura’s mother’s mental illness. The black and white contrast is familiar but the themes of family sorrows, regrets and the discovery of new love are heartfelt and moving.

*This title is out-of-print. Email us to be notified if copies become available.
By Mariela Sancari
La Fabrica

The story of Moises is the story of Sancari finding a man that she hardly knew (he died when she was 6), a man whose body was never released by Argentine police because he was Jewish. So the book is a refinding of him. It’s beautiful designed, with a three part cover that mimics the act of discovery and adds a tactile element that makes it fit the book form.
By Vendula Knopova

Not many books make me smile in quite the way this one does. It’s a family album book ripped from the hard drive of Knopova’s mother’s computer. It’s not your normal family and it’s not your normal album, with captions telling stories that are normally left untold.
By Siegfried Hansen
Verlag Kettler

This is a classic street photography book that adds a graphic angle to a genre that is too often repetitive and unengaging. In Hold the Line, Hansen’s attention to the lines, angles and geometry of the street find wonderful expression in a book that is beautifully designed and a delight to hold.
By Ester Vonplon
b.frank books

Ester Vonplon’s requiem-themed slideshow of melting glaciers is one of the most powerful things I’ve seen in photography and now you can recreate it in your own home, courtesy of a book that comes complete with photobook, record and a hardcover slipcase that looks like a chunk of ice.
By Tony Gentile

The story is that of the mafia wars that devastated Italy (and Sicily in particular) in the early 1990s. It is told through the murders of two men (Paolo Borsollino and Giovanni Falcone) but is really about the corruption, murder and greed that reaches beyond the mafia into Italy’s legal and political structures.

 Colin Pantall is a writer, photographer and senior lecturer on the Documentary Photography Course at the University of South Wales (in Cardiff and Newport). 

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