Yolanda, by Ignacio Navas.

Yolanda is a book about youth, Yolanda is a book about drugs, Yolanda is a book about AIDS. Yolanda is a book about the rise (short) and fall (long) of a teenager and her boyfriend who never completely succeed to become adults.


Ignacio calls his book a zine, but it’s a bit thicker and it can stand the comparison with books. With a white surprising softcover with a series of hand written style « Yolanda » watermark (similar to Fuji Crystal on the reverse of prints). I really like the cover which does not allow you to know what the book is about. 15,5 x 22 cm, 70 pages and 20 inserted pages of texts. Self published English and Spanish editions of 200 each.

P1110093 P1110092

For me, the book works like « In search of lost time » by Marcel Proust. It all started with an old photograph from Ignacio’s baptism on which he was in a young woman’s arms. This becomes a quest to know more about this mysterious woman who will be slowly enlightened through the pages of the book.

P1110094 P1110095

We don’t really know if the story is real, but it doesn’t really matter. This is the story of a generation whose youth was blasted. Teenagers who have grown up too fast. At the age of 20, they already have experienced so much that the only remaining thing in their life was boredom. That’s probably the summum of the book when they have a dog instead of a child (if they are not anymore teenagers, they did not get the adulthood maturity which would have allowed them to have a child) to fulfill their boring life and make them « Alive ». But despite the dog, Yolanda went back to drug and entered a detox center where she was diagnosed AIDS.


So yes, they lived fast, like one of their only possession, a Golf GTI (they can’t afford the yellow Ferrari and just stood beside for a photo) which reminds me « The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust » (David Bowie appears, like a twinkle on a wall of a room) !

P1110098 P1110097P1110100

To complete and affirm his narration, Ignacio uses archive photographs mixed with contemporary photographs. The old photos work, as Frederic Lambert explained in his book « Mythographies », as some « effects of the real » which means that the poor quality of them, tells the truth (we know from Fontcuberta and Formiguera’s Fauna that it is completely false). We feel an empathy for Yolanda, because we all have, at home in our old family albums, such pictures of disapeared family members. Yolanda becomes our auntie disapeared too fast !


There are also texts inserted on « third sized pages ». The texts are written by Ignacio’s uncle whose Yolanda was the first girlfriend. They are between captions and explanations, like words which would have been said while watching the photographs. Some parallel souvenirs that outcrop when seeing the photos. Some sentences even seem unsure. Here again we feel a strong empathy, but this time through the memories of Ignacio’s uncle. Those souvenirs are extremely precise which here again « testify their truth » and help us to understand them.

P1110096 13__MG_1662_v2

I have already told you that we don’t know if the story is real or not and this is the great strength of the book. We can therefore appropriate the tale of Yolanda. It is a sad tale which ended just before Christmas, 19 years ago, when Yolanda died. Uncle Gabriel was only 25 and his life was a big mess, Ignacio was 6 ! In the end of the 80’s and early 90’s, many people died of AIDS, and almost each of us knew someone who died. So this book is a fantastic tribute to all those beloved disappeared far too young !

More info on Ignacio’s site : http://www.ignacionavas.com/index.php/02/

And here : http://www.30y3.com/ignacio-navas-yolanda-2/

All images copyright Ignacio Navas.


Dear Santa Claus – a photobook wishlist.

So here is coming another list for the end of the year. But I don’t want to play the expert, or award a prize, so I add an extra rule for my recommendations. I will not list books that are out of print. My idea is that everybody can buy a book from this wishlist. So no « Hidden Islam », « Red string », « Euromaidan », « I’m still looking for my own Jane Gallagher », « Linger » or « Teikai » which were all fantastic books published this year.

So here are my recommendations, in no particular order :

Volunteer, by Paul Seawright, published by Artist Photo Books, technically from 2013, but only available in 2014 : an exploration of America post 9-11 through suburban landscapes from military recruiting stations. More info in a previous post : https://whoneedsanotherphotoblog.wordpress.com/2014/01/18/when-landscape-photography-becomes-a-political-statement-volunteer-by-paul-seawright/

And the site of the Publisher : http://www.artistphotobooks.ie/product/volunteer/

volunteer01 volunteer03 volunteer05 volunteer08 volunteer09

Life and work, by Sune Jonsson, published by Bokförlaget Max Ström. I really do not understand why this book remain completely out of the radars. A huge and wonderful monography, beautifully printed, of the Swedish photographer of the rurality.

The site of the Publisher : http://www.maxstrom.se/Bocker/Bokpresentationssida/?isbn=9789171262950#.VIxdzieMtLo

10003159_460130567450763_1782115201_n 10176268_460130707450749_1878131557_n 10154182_460130857450734_1518464482_n 1978910_460130684117418_1930204807_n 10155916_460130807450739_2052397524_n

You scared the shit out of me so I am leaving, by Calin Cruse, published by Dienacht Publishing. An exploration of erotic fairs. A very simple and efficient book beautifully designed.

Site of the Publisher : http://www.dienacht-magazine.com/2014/05/31/calin-kruse-you-scared/

IMGP6308-930x617 IMGP6310-930x617 IMGP6346-930x617 IMGP6349-930x617 IMGP6351-930x617

Becoming Simone, by Alessia Bernardini, self published. The very sensitive story of Simone, a man born in the body of a girl and his lifelong battle to finally get the proper body he wants.

More details in a previous post : https://whoneedsanotherphotoblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/becoming-simone-by-alessia-bernardini-with-the-help-of-simone-grippi/

And Alessia Bernardini’s site : http://www.alessiabernardini.com/becoming-simone_the-book

P1090546 6444 6440 6439 6435

One road, by Kazuo Kitai, published by Zen Foto gallery. One of the most beautiful book by Kazuo Kitai who remains a lot more known for his protest books. A walk through devastated landscapes after the tsunami in 2011 (which finally becomes a form of protest !)

Site of the Publisher : http://www.shashasha.co/en/book/oneroad/

10612924_534021343395018_3670559799527740431_n P1110048 P1110050 P1110051 P1110052

Shauna 2007 – 2009, by Sean Lee, selfpublished. For three years, Sean Lee became Shauna, a beautiful ladyboy and this book is the story of Shauna. She shares her life with us, entering her intimacy. A very touching story !

My previous post about Shauna : https://whoneedsanotherphotoblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/04/three-years-in-the-life-of-a-lady-boy-shauna-2007-2009-by-sean-lee/

Sean Lee’s site : http://www.seanleephoto.com/

10685582_543671299096689_23717933003001750_n P1100341 P1100342 P1100348 P1100351

Alone Together, by Mi-Yeon, published by Kaya books. A beautifully crafted book of black and white photographs about what it means to be part of a society and our relationships to others. Remind me some of the Provoke books.

Mi-Yeon’s site : http://mi-yeon.jp/publications/

10628182_548248768638942_2265060045975479211_n 10380527_548248808638938_6985691183066570189_o 10254022_548248765305609_3855823305730726534_n 1796717_548248795305606_7623016506138567899_o 10630638_548248745305611_5623693266877729573_o

Sequester, by Awoiska Van der Molen, published by Fw : Alone, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nature… with some photos printed on black paper which become drawn by the light !

The publisher’s site : http://fw-photography.nl/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage_fw_minimal.tpl&product_id=85&category_id=6&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=6&lang=en&vmcchk=1&Itemid=6

P1110061P1110055 P1110058 P1110059 P1110060

2041, published by Here Press. A collection of photographs of an unknown person dressed in self made burquas. One of the weirdest book published this year ! Not easy to say more, you have to look at the book to get your own opinion. It also comes with three different prints to personalize the cover.

Here press site : http://www.herepress.org/publications/2041/

2041-cover 2041-spread-1 2041-spread-6 2041-spread-9 2041-spread-11

Face Nord, by Charles Delcourt, published by Light Motiv. A French photographer, former landscape architect take us to a visit of the Northern part of France with its spoil tips. Charles emphatically shows the exact reasons why I love so much this area. With three short stories by Ukainian writer Andrei Kourkov.

The site of the Publisher : http://www.lightmotiv.com/?page=editions&idkey=18

10376838_572143226249496_171383608787961356_n1495917_572143232916162_602371600159338444_o 1797005_572143346249484_2021044775236020063_o  10476125_572143322916153_3797515967386345533_o 10680063_572143376249481_2209546545266476113_o

And an extra one which cannot be bought :

Ibasyo, by Kosuke Okahara, selfpublished. A print run of 6 copies, but the book is not for sale. The six copies can be borrowed for a certain time and each one will have its own journey around the world. The book is about 6 Japanese girls who suffer from self injury. The last third of the book is made of blank pages where you can write a personnal message to one of the six girls. At the end of the journey, each book will be given to one of the six girls. This is really refreshing in the photobook world of collectors and comsumption.

More info in a previous post : https://whoneedsanotherphotoblog.wordpress.com/2014/07/24/ibasyo-by-kosuke-okahara-the-quest-for-a-physical-and-emotional-place-where-a-person-can-exist/

And the site dedicated to the books : http://ibasyobook.com/

621 641 637 631 629

All images copyright the authors and publishers.