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BOOKS

11.09.2015

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Searching for very specific clues: The starting point for the Dutch photographer’s new book, was the death of her father, whom she had not seen for a very long time. The only thing she had to remember him by was a fossil. Browsing through the book however, it’s soon clear that it’s not a story about her father, but deals rather with loss, memory and change. The photographer chose a family in Tanzania to give visual form to these concepts.

The title of this book defines what it’s all about: Ananda van der Pluijm starts out from the assumption that a story can never be told in its entirety. Even so, with her associative narrative style, the photographer manages to turn the viewer into the witness of a historic, yet at the same time very contemporary, process of change. Erosion plays a decisive role. Erosion means the gradual process of the degradation of rock and soil due to wind, rain or water. In this case, however, the word erosion is a metaphor for the gradual degradation of civil liberties and the loss of family structures. The family entity is falling apart just like the ground is eroding. The specific story of the village of Tosamaganga in Tanzania, tells of the economical and geological problems of the region, as well as the story of living and deceased family members. This makes Ananda more than just a photographer: she is also an anthropologist, ethnologist and subjective storyteller.

An Incomplete History is a poetic acknowledgement of the impossibility of reconstructing truth. Photography is the perfect medium to activate the imagination, to approach a subject in an individual manner, or to reconstruct a story. Above all however, it recognizes that this is never possible with absolute perfection, so a certain degree of incompleteness will always remain. Ulrich Rüter

96 pages, 52 tri-tone photos
22 x 24.5 cm
English
Schilt Publishing

The photographer and visual artist Ananda van der Pluijm (*1980) lives in Amsterdam. Right from the start she has managed to create and portray intimate stories with great sensitivity. Martin, her final project at the Amsterdam Photo Academy, focussed on her half-brother, whom she had not seen beforehand for ten years. With her series, she won third place in the Observed Portraits Stories category of the 2013 World Press Photo competition. In addition, Ananda van der Pluijm has a Master’s degree in Cultural Stories.
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