About photobooks – old and new.
Gilles Peress (photos) and Hamilton Fish (edited)
Published in 2013 by Concord Free Press, 3 000 copies
4to, illustrated softcover, 93 pages
This book was published on the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy with the goal of raising money to help hurricane relief efforts. The CFP distributed 3,000 copies of The Rockaways via independent bookstores, museums, and internet requests—for free—asking only that recipients donate to a Sandy-related aid organization, another charity, or someone in need. Then pass the book on to another reader so that he or she can donate as well.
Gilles Peress was invited to contribute by photographing the Rockaways in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy. The photos are quite compelling and give a clear sense of the disarray experienced by the local population. The pictures depict a neighborhood brought down to ashes with little left intact. A statue of a saint, a few toys, and not much more resisted the brutality of the storm.
Interviewed by the NYT, Peress who lives in New York, said that “It’s important not to forget, because Sandy revealed vulnerabilities to climate change, vulnerabilities in the social construct of the city. And I think that this is a challenge for this city to address. It’s always dangerous to forget history.”
The photos are complemented by essays from high school students, long-term residents, and others, who give voice to the incredible changes wrought by the storm.” Dozens of writers, editors, designers, print professionals, and publicists donated their time and talents to create The Rockaways.”
As CFP indicates, this project not only generated money to hurricane relief efforts, but it also demonstrated the importance of artistic activism. The book was edited by Hamilton Fitch, who is also the founder of Concord Free Press, a publishing house that gives its books away.
Interesting to know that Kodak served as the technology partner for the book, which is created using its state-of-the-art digital printing solutions — including the Kodak NexPress Digital Production Color Press and Kodak Prosper Press.