As listmania has gripped the photobook world once again, here are my personal top ten politically themed photobooks published in 2012 (listed by author).
Fallen Empire – Alex Bocchetto/ Valentina Abenavoli
A dark Dorésque homage to a metropolis trapped by its imperial past.
Picturing Algeria – Pierre Bourdieu
Bourdieu’s early photographs made while he was a soldier in the French army combined with his theoretical musings on the nature of photography, social inquiry and ethnography.
Concresco – David Galjaard
This has been one of the stars of this year – rotting concrete bunkers as metaphor for a regime based upon paranoia and fear.
Poppy: Trails of Afghan Heroin – Robert Knoth/Antoinette De Jong
An excellent book that ties all the strands of the global heroin trade together with strong images supported by an incisive text.
A Possible Life: Conversations with Gualbert – Ben Krewinkel
A very strong book that examines themes of immigration, exploitation, economic inequality and their impact upon an individual trapped in a system that perpetuates it.
Reset Beyond Fukushima –Kazuma Obara
An extensive and multi-layered exploration of the ongoing Fukushima crisis.
A Certain Kind of Energy – Léonard Pongo
A very strong self published book that explores the layers of social trauma in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Kim Jong Il Looking at things – João Rocha
Photographs of a dictator that serve to both fascinate and repel.
Down These Mean Streets – Will Steacy
Another book that has made it on to a number of lists – a hard hitting personal indictment on the ongoing collapse of the American dream.
Fabrik – Jakob Tuggener
A very welcome reprint from Steidl of a classic 1940s Swiss industrial photo book from a great photographer.