Attachment to nature in the agrarian community of the Karczebs of Podlachia, east Poland/west Belarus, is the subject of the photobook Karczeby, shortlisted for the 2013 Paris Photo Aperture Photobook awards. Panczuk says that the word Karczeb is also used to describe "what remains after a tree has been cut down", and his representation explores both the harsh reality and the levity of a contrarian rural life in post-Soviet Poland. The B&W photography lies in my favourite space, between documentary and stagecraft, visualising the community as one with nature in eccentric ways, recalling the surreal literalisation of Giuseppe Arcimboldo's paintings. Written accounts of folktales and day-to-day family life by Karczeb member Kazimierz Kusznierow are presented in between the full-page photos.
The beautiful book, designed by Ania Nalecka, can be purchased here
Karczeby is shortlisted alongside the forgotten and found of the historical photobook The Black Photo Album, by Santu Mofokeng.
If you're feeling in the naturalist mood, watch the wonderful Canadian watercolour animation The Man Who Planted Trees from 1987. You'll probably want to go out a cultivate a forest yourself after this but, unlike Bouffier, you'll have to ask the council for permission first.
Art & Design
All contributions by Kieran Gosney unless otherwise stated.
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