Taous R. Dahmani
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Missing photobooks
A symptomatic reading on the reasons for and impact of the lack of publications by Black British photographers in the 1970s and 1980s
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This chapter questions the historiography of books by photographers, commonly known as photobooks. It discusses uses, methods and key players, while presenting the narrative surrounding photobooks as a story arising from an ecosystem inscribed in social and political history. More specifically, this chapter puts forward hypotheses to explain why there are so few photobooks by Black British photographers active in the 1970s and 1980s. Further to this, it addresses why the few books that did come into existence are not part of the historiography. Central to the discussion is photographer Armet Francis, an absentee in the historiography of photographic editions of the period. Finally, this chapter proposes to see the editorial action of Autograph ABP as a way of making up for this shortcoming.

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The photobook world

Artists’ books and forgotten social objects

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