The rise and rise of Mimi Plumb

Reading Time: 5 minutes Born in Berkeley but raised in the East Bay suburb of Walnut Creek, Mimi Plumb has been a lynchpin in the network of photographers and educators who keep the region grounded in socially engaged documentary traditions. In her own photography, she has remained close to her roots, shooting long-term projects all over northern California. Many of those projects are only now beginning to see the light of day.

One of the reasons why her archive has lain dormant for so long is that she has been teaching photography most of her adult life at local institutions such as San Jose State University and San Francisco Art Institute, where she herself gained an MA, and which has played a key role in educating many photography students in the region. In 2014, her first body of work, Pictures from the Valley, was exhibited at City Hall in San Francisco. These pictures, taken in her early 20s when she was still a student, were a campaign for trade union rights among the Hispanic field workers of California’s farmlands.

5 November 2018

Photo London: Janet Delaney’s radical San Francisco

Reading Time: 5 minutes She stands on a San Francisco rooftop looking out over the South of Market neighbourhood – the area that was the subject and title of her sumptuous 2013 book, published by MACK Books, which led to her solo show at the city’s prestigious De Young Museum. Thousands have now seen the series, but Janet Delaney shot it in the early 1980s, just as the district was being primed for redevelopment and gentrification. Now middle-aged, as a young woman Delaney was fiercely committed to the idea that photography could and should change the world. Thinking of herself as a “cultural worker”, she hoped her project would advocate for the working class people and businesses who had helped make the area so vibrant, and help stop them from being displaced.

3 May 2018

In Paris: Jonas Bendiksen's Last Testament

Reading Time: 6 minutes In the latest book from Jonas Bendiksen, the Norwegian photographer takes us on a global journey of spiritual exploration, seen through the worldview of seven fascinating individuals who literally believe themselves to be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It’s an expansive and sumptuously designed book of more than 140 photographs and several thousand words of accompanying textual scriptures, co-published by GOST and Aperture. In it, Bendiksen portrays himself as a photographic apostle, asking why the Bible story of a returning Messiah has remained so potent. “My approach here was to ask, who is this person and who are their followers,” he explains. “By immersing myself in their revelations and spending time with their disciples, I’ve tried to produce images that illustrate the human longing for faith, meaning, and salvation.”

22 September 2017

Book: Meanwhile Across the Mountain by Jens Olof Lasthein

Reading Time: 5 minutes Jens Olof Lasthein, a Swedish-born photographer brought up in Denmark, has spent much of his career travelling around the European hinterlands, where international boundaries have been shifting for centuries. His new book, Meanwhile Across the Mountain, published by Max Ström, is a stunning survey of the Caucasus – the part of southeastern Europe that used to belong to the Soviet Union, but is now a collection of sovereign states and breakaway regions such as South Ossetia, Dagestan and Chechnya.

13 July 2017