Jason Eskenazi, author of one of my (and many other peoples’) favorite photography books of all time Wonderland: A Fairy Tale of the Soviet Monolith, is working on a new project and is asking for our support via Kickstarter. As usual there are a number of rewards for helping to fund the project, including signed copies of the hard-to-find Wonderland at the $100 level.
I want to understand the contemporary dilemmas of our civilization by seeking modern equivalents to the East/West dichotomy. From the mythic Trojan War, to the split of the Roman Empire, to Islamic control over Western Europe, to today’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and to the revolutions in Egypt and Libya, human history has been plagued by successive waves of both territorial and cultural conquest across the Eurasian divide over the course of 3000 years. This ancient world spanned the same locales where many of the world’s crises are now taking place.
I will do this by creating a companion to my published book Wonderland: A Fairy Tale of the Soviet Monolith (recently reviewed on National Public Radio and winner of Best Photography Book by POYi) where I interpreted the former Soviet Union as a story about childhood maturation – from childhood fairy tales to adult mythology. And like mythology, this new story, The Black Garden, centers on the nature of duality. Does it arise from out of our imagination or does it have a physical geographical basis? I will investigate the influence of ancient Greek ideals and myths, as well as eastern views, in our modern time by photographing today’s current events within our the vast geographical and mythical world known to ancient Greece: from Southern Italy to the Indus River in India in order to see contemporary dilemmas within a historical, journalistic, and artistic light.
Eskenazi has a great proposal (I think we could even study it as a good example of how to write our own) and already has an interesting set of photographs (and a book dummy) to kick this off. I hope it reaches full funding and that we can all see the results of the new project soon. I’m looking forward to having the new book on my shelf.