After several years in Beijing, a professional photographer has returned to his hometown for an intimate portrait. It is hard to remain optimistic watching the images Daniel Traub took in North Philadelphia. His 52 photographs show decline and depression – desolate buildings in deserted streets. Some of the photos are portraits of residents. Traub worked on many projects in China between 1998 and 2007 before moving back to the United States. In an English-language article featured in the book now out by Kehrer, the photographer writes about his experiences growing up in Philadelphia in the 1970s and 1980s when vast parts of the city were dominated by drug-related crime and violence. His new photographs give the impression that little has changed ever since.
By Daniel Traub
Published by Kehrer Verlag (www.kehrerverlag.com)
Chechnya, Afghanistan and South Sudan are anything but common tourist destinations. Nevertheless, an author has travelled there. Kolja Spöri tried to find out how life is there. His ambition was also to check whether travel warnings of foreign ministries and other institutions are credible. His project has, without any doubt, the potential to cause a stir. Critics might argue that Spöri is ridiculing the difficult personal circumstances of the impoverished regions’ inhabitants. Shattered by street crime, high murder rates and civil war, areas around the globe are not attractive at all for travellers. However, this constellation made these countries interesting for the author. In his new book “Ich war überall”, Spöri offers his personal view on visiting dangerous places and meeting the people who live there. Apart from regions considered unsafe, he also visited places with extraordinary weather conditions such as extremely low temperatures. His book does not just feature Spöri’s travel reports. “Ich war überall” also maps of his trips and general safety advices.
Ich war überall
By Kolja Spöri
Published by Plassen (www.plassen-buchverlage.de)
::: The Austrian Culture Channel on Twitter: @accthomas