Helena Vayhinger, Florian Schwarz

Imagine

Book coverImagine
Book coverImagine
Book coverImagine
Book coverImagine

This modest book stood out in the category documentary photo books with a relevant social theme thanks to the systematic, surprising approach taken. Imagine brings together portraits in words and images of various ‘stateless’ people; people who have no officially recognised nationality. Plenty of space is devoted to the interviewees, their photographs and stories – a sixteen-page section each in fact – with each of these sections arranged in the same way: portrait photographs, text, and then a number of pages of still photographs zooming in on their hands. This strictly applied structure has a slightly alienating effect, giving a sense of the stultifying effect of bureaucracy. The printing is pretty dark. This could be a deliberate choice; it gives the photos an everyday, non-glossy look that emphasises the humanity of the subjects and also suits the sober tints of the sections. However, this does mean that the images lack a certain freshness. The various viewpoints chosen for the photos create identification: when leafing through the book, we automatically compare out own hands to those of the people in the portraits. An effect echoed subtly by the typography on the cover: the words ‘imagine’ and various names intersect, allowing us to read ‘I’m Christina’, ‘I’m anonymous’ and ‘I’m Lynn’. Each section has its own colour, and these are also used on the beautifully glued spine. This nicely emphasises the diversity of stories, while avoiding an overly clichéd association with the rainbow.

Edition: 2022
Date of publication: July 2022
Translator: Annie Schwarz
Image editor: Florian Schwarz, Hans Gremmen
Photographer: Florian Schwarz
Publisher: Fw:Books, Amsterdam
Available through: Bookshop, webshop
Graphic designer: Hans Gremmen (Amsterdam)
Lithographer: Wilco Art Books (Mariska Bijl), Amersfoort
Printer: Wilco Art Books, Amersfoort
Binder: Wilco Art Books, Amersfoort
Size book block (w x h x d in mm): 240 x 320 x 13 mm
Number of pages: 240
Print run: 750
ISBN: 9789083225166
Font and foundry: Jungka (Jung-Lee Type Foundry)
Binding style: Transparently glued-off spine, with front and back cover of 4 pages sewn in, hot melt gluing
Paper for interior (grammage): 100gsm Muskat New Grey, 80gsm Amber Graphic, Igepa, Papurys
Material cover (grammage): 290gsm Muskat New Grey, Igepa
Special features: Cover printed in CMYK en opaque white, interior printed in CMYK, sewn with black thread; on every first and last page of each section, a colour has been printed in the heart of the book; all of these colours are visible on the spine