Top Ten of 2012

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.

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