The world is urbanizing rapidly. Mumbai, Douala, Lima − we have all seen the images of metropolitan sprawl under a skin of concrete and corrugated sheet. The other side of progress is the changes that are taking place in rural areas. And there is no need to venture far from home to see that, as Geraldine Jeanjean eloquently demonstrates with her pictures of Aumont.
Aumont is the village in the heart of France where the photographer has spent her holidays ever since childhood.
The population has shrunk and aged, industry and commerce are on their last legs. The book tells Aumont’s story simply and forcefully.
At the front we approach the village from above, the title page being situated somewhere over the edge of the built-up area. The pictures alternate between colour and monochrome, the predominant shade being grey. Sometimes they are double-page spreads, sometimes there are two images to a page. Village scenes are interspersed with portraits. The streets are empty of people. Captions are here superfluous, except that the individuals portrayed have retained their names. Even the colour images have an air of greyness, helped by the soft paper. At the back the entire text appears on a single page. The only thing the panel were unable to fathom was the apparently superfluous streaks of white shining out against a dark background.
Swiss cut-flush binding, cover with flaps, on the front an empty, grey photo, the title on the spine only. Aumont is an effectively directed documentary.