In February, the Belgian Platform for Photobooks presented itself in Fotomuseum Antwerp with an international symposium called 'The Individual, The Political and The Photobook'. It was a day filled with inspiring talks and discussions by Gerry Badger, Max Pinckers, Laura El-Tantawy, Alejandro Cartagena, Mark Neville and others about the role contemporary photobooks play in the so-called documentary genre.
Photobooks today, through thorough attention to design, image selection and sequence, have become a perfect medium for complex and layered visual stories. In what has become a noticeable trend, more and more photographers experiment with the book in terms of both form and content to push the ideas and boundaries of the documentary genre. A highly subjective, sometimes autobiographical approach appears to be key to all of this, turning the individual experience into the political – and vice versa.
The Belgian Platform for Photobooks is an online space dedicated to contemporary photobook culture in Belgium and abroad. The platform is coordinated by Stefan Vanthuyne as part of a research project at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp and with the support of the research groups Thinking Tools and ArchiVolt. Read more on the website www.belphotobooks.org.