HUMAN ARCHIPELAGO

: Cole (T.) text & Sheikh (F.) photo.

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249pp., illus., hardback, Second Edition, Gottingen, (2019) 2021

 

A text-image collaboration between Teju Cole and Fazal Sheikh focused on global migrants and refugees around the world.

"Created in response to the inferno of the current global political moment, the book intersperses Sheikh’s photographs of displaced people and sites of trauma across the globe with short, textual responses by Cole ... The result is a poetic, episodic meditation on nothing less than what it means to be human ... As Cole writes, 'There are no refugees, only fellow citizens whose rights we have failed to acknowledge.' In Human Archipelago this truth unfolds page by page, plain as day." Sharon Mizota, Los Angeles Times

"Everything about the book appears modest ― its proportions are those of a literary work; Sheikh’s photos are illustration-sized; Cole’s texts are seldom longer than a paragraph or two. And yet its theme is overwhelming." Luc Sante, New York Times

Visual artist Fazal Sheikh was born in 1965 in New York. His mother was American, his father Kenyan. He has published 15 monographs, including A Sense of Common Ground, The Victor Weeps, Moksha, Ladli, Portraits and The Erasure Trilogy. He is a fellow of the MacArthur, Guggenheim and Fulbright Foundations, and artist‑in‑residence at the High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton University.

Teju Cole was born in the USA in 1975 and raised in Nigeria. He is the author of the novella, Every Day Is for the Thief, the novel, Open City (the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Internationaler Literaturpreis, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Fiction and the New York City Book Award), the essay collection, Known and Strange Things and the photography book Blind Spot, shortlisted for the the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards. He was the Photography Critic of The New York Times Magazine. He is Gore Vidal Professor of the Practice of Creative Writing at Harvard University and currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.