Thursday, September 27, 2012

Book Launch - Pamir, Oubliés sur le toit du Monde...

It is time to pick up the blog again! I do a lot of my updates these days via my Facebook page, but nothing beats the blog.

Here is a quick recap since my last entry last May (!):
First, we settled in our new home near Izmir, on the Aegean sea - while doing finishing touches on our Pamir book. Then I was off again, on a job for National Geographic - I went back to Afghanistan, to the Pamir, to complete the story I started to shoot for them last winter. Here are the field reports. I went for 5 weeks with Nat Geo writer Mike Finkel. Intense experience (and long...), but nothing compare to the winter trips. The amazing thing is that we had our own tent at night - none of these smoked-in shepherd huts that can be miserable in winter.

Here in summer, back in 2005 - on our long donkey trek from Afghanistan into Pakistan. Good weight watcher's program at high altitude.

 I was back home in Turkey late July,  and right away dived into the images and started to edit my work and do captioning. I spent August in Turkey, enjoying family and kite surfing as much as I could. Late August, I went to Perpignan and met some other fellow photographers as well as editors - and enjoyed the work on exhibition this year, a very impressive selection.

Mid-September I was in Washington for my final show at National Geographic magazine. It consists in a presentation in an amphitheater of the final images (we had about 60 - out of the 15.000 or so that I shot over my winter and summer assignments) that my editor and I had selected : the time to show, explain and impress. This went really well and we are now in the layout process of the story. It's a real privilege for a photographer to be still involved in the process at this stage. I don't know of any other magazines that does that. The story will come out early next year.

NOW - well... our book is coming out! Both in France (Editions de la Martinière) and Germany (Knesebeck). French title is "Pamir - Oubliés sur le toit du monde" and the German goes "Pamir - Vergessenes Volk auf dem dach der welt".

This below is how the 2 editions look. Only the covers are different, the inside pages are the same.

It's 256 pages (some 200 images large format) for over 10 years of work - blood and tears of joy poured into that one!
There are about 27.000 words - yes, there is text! - a very personal account (written by my wife Mareile and I) of our accidental journey that turned into a deep relationship with this unique place.

Here is Mareile giving us a little preview - the Kyrgyz wedding.

Mareile art directed and designed the book, and we paced the text with the more documentary shots, to give it air. We worked on appealing tag-lines along the text, to get people to dive into it. Anthropologist Ted Callahan added his touch with great text boxes spaced throughout the book.

Pamir, forgotten on the world!

The book will be available through our book website, as limited edition with archival prints etc. Here it is :

I might add some text excerpts on this page later.

Yours, Matthieu