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2016 Best Books: Yumi Goto

Books Yumi Goto: 2016 Best Books Yumi Goto Selects Photos Souvenirs, Shenasnameh, and Shadows of Wormwood as the Best Books of 2016
Yumi Goto
Yumi Goto is an independent photography curator, editor, researcher consultant and publisher who focuses on the development of cultural exchanges that transcend borders. She collaborates with local and international artists who live and work in areas affected by conflict, natural disasters, current social problems, human rights abuses and women’s issues. She often works with human rights advocates, international and local NGOs, humanitarian organizations and as well as being involved as a nominator and juror for the international photographic organizations, festivals and events. She is now based in Tokyo and also a co-founder and curator for the Reminders Photography Stronghold.

Photos SouvenirsBy Carolle Bénitah
Kehrer Verlag, 2016.
Photos Souvenirs
Photographs by Carolle Bénitah
"Each hole is a putting to death of my demons. It is like an exorcism. I stab the paper until I don’t hurt anymor­e." — Carolle Bénitah

As heard from the author, this is not only a sentimental family oriented, nostalgic kind of book. These photos are from the artist’s beautiful personal archives taken in the 1960’s, depicting her life and family. There is a lot of pain found in each image, and, as I have seen her dummy previously, I wondered how it could be conveyed in the final publication of the book and if others could feel as I did with the dummy. The tactile feeling of how she wants to share with people, is there.

Purchase Book Here

Shenasnameh. By Amak Mahmoodian. RRB Books/ICVLStudio, 2016.
Photographs by Amak Mahmoodian
Shenasnameh It’s hard to read this book title, but the word’s meaning is comparable to a birth certificate. The author has a story to share with us. As an Iranian woman born in 1980, the same year as the Islamic Revolution in Iran, she was exposed to strongly held religious beliefs.

As a girl, she was told by her religious teacher to cover up her hair entirely; otherwise, she would be suffering even after she died. As a woman, she also was forced to think about the identity of being an Iranian woman when she was waiting to get her Shenasnameh with her mother.

I saw this book originally as a dummy, complete with a bookmark made from the artist’s own hair. I felt very strongly that she wanted to include personal aspects into the book, however, I am more than happy that her book is now able to be seen by a much wider audience.

Read the review by Sarah Bay Gachot on photo-eye Blog 
Purchase Book Here

Shadows of Wormwood
By Arthur BondarSelf-published, 2016.
Shadows of Wormwood
Photographs by Arthur Bondar
It’s been 30 years since the Chernobyl tragedy in Ukraine.
I met Arthur when he was working on the project in 2012. I was first interested in what he had created already, then, looking at his identity as a person from the country, how he captured the aftermath of this historical tragedy, and, finally, how he captured the tragedy on a personal level. All of this triggered my attention a lot. This Book successfully illustrates the disquieting feeling of the zone he’s been photographing, and you could feel it when you turn the pages.

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