Thursday, May 30, 2013

[REVIEW] Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit

Title: Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit
Author: Alison Wright
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
ISBN-13: 9780764343667
Release Date: Feb 14, 2013

Blurb: Wright's photography has been featured in National Geographic Society publications, Smithsonian, Outside, Time, Islands, and The New York Times, as well as a number of books. The recipient of the Dorothea Lange Award in Documentary Photography for covering child labor in Asia, and a two-time recipient of the Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award, Alison travels the globe collecting raw, thought-provoking images. This retrospective of her illustrious, ongoing career features a portfolio of striking portraits of more than 200 individuals. From Asia to Africa, to the Middle East and back, she captures the tapestry of humanity in all its diversity and splendor. Warmth, dignity, and grace emanate from the eyes of monks and geishas, nomads and cowboys, tribal warriors and even inspirational icons like His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi. Together, these stunning portraits, accompanied by written testimonials, explore the universal interconnectedness of the human spirit.

Review: Just by looking at the front cover with the wonderful picture of a girl in Tibet, I had high expectations. As I read Pico Iyer’s introduction, my expectations were piqued even more: “These are the friends who matter, not because they have signed up to follow my digital updates, but because they’ve reached me at some level deeper than events or updates. They don’t just look at me; they look through me”.

As I saw Alison Wright’s images, it struck me how right Pico Iyer was. Basically every single one of her subjects did appear to look right through me. And despite some of the seemingly dire circumstances some of the pictures were taken in, there is no hopelessness to be found – quite the contrary!

We are taken to various places in Africa, Asia and North America, but despite the differing environments and looks of the subjects, there is no doubt we are all connected. We are one human family, united in our diversity. Few things make this as clear as photographs, and these are stunningly beautiful, crystal clear examples.

The only thing I felt lacking was that not more peoples and nationalities were represented.

I recommend this book to everyone interested in photography, diversity or humanity.

Rating: 4 bookshelves out of 5.

Disclaimer: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Schiffer Publishing Ltd. for the purpose of a review.

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