At the moment I am looking with my photography projects at the world of academia. Art books usually do not excel if they are about an in-depth theme. On the other hand, academic papers are often quite inaccessible in terms of ‘readability’, even for the target audience, especially in terms of the design of the papers and the use of illustrations and photos. Perhaps at the point where art and academia meet, both disciplines can benefit. Art can be an extension to academic content, or vice versa.
Music Brings Us Together is a book project of photographer Peter Koudstaal.
The project of course focuses on ‘music & art festivals’ themselves, but moreover considers why people go to these sorts of festivals when they know that the toilets are dirty, the food isn’t good and most of the bands aren’t to their liking.
That is to say nothing of the festival camping that after a day’s rain changes into a swamp, and the people throwing up in the tent next door.
But also: why is a festival so interesting for artists when they know that the sound quality is often poor, the performance time too short, and the people that come to watch them see them only as a warm-up act before the main act comes on?
For this project, Peter visited over 25 festivals worldwide.
He tried to find an answer to the questions above not only by speaking to festival-goers and artists, but also by asking researchers for an explanation of the popularity of these sorts of events.
Stories, questions, answers and many photos have resulted in a coffee-table-format book, 440 pages long, which will be published in April 2015 by Gudberg Nerger Verlag in Hamburg, Germany.
Text: Dr. Pauwke Berkers, Simone Driessen MA, Professor Gunnar Linder, Dr. Jeroen Groenewegen-Lau, Professor Keith Still, Dr. Simon Warner and many others.
Book design: Mónica Morales & Rodrigo Aguilar
Real China: A bike trip through Beijing and popular culture from idealism to cynicism (and back)
‘This is not a book about China, says author Jeroen Groenewegen
‘It shares a handful of first-hand observations and conversations in the streets of one city (Beijing), and connects these with Chinese-language popular culture–news stories, revolutionary songs, reality tv, science fiction novels. But it’s not about something as abstract as China.
I am looking for a human.
Sincere or not, overwhelmed by emotions, scheming, hopeful. I’m worried by the pragmatism and cynicism that seems to be on the increase in many places in the world. I see young, creative people embracing the spectacle of ‘faster, higher, stronger’, while claiming to be critical of it. This is the ‘they know what they are doing, and yet they are doing it’ of enlightened false consciousness. Socialist market economy, stone-washed jeans—oxymorons that work nonetheless. How to play this game well, engaging, with passion? Or should we stop playing games? And what do I do?
China is a mirror. A dream.’
In de seculiere landen van West- Europa bestaat er een verband tussen het opleidingsniveau van mensen en de mate waarin zij hechten aan tradities en gevoelig zijn voor ‘nationalisme’. ‘Oranje tijdens het WK’, ‘Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet’, ‘Een gevoel van Kerst’; het komt allemaal voorbij in het komende fotoboek ‘Ontheemd In Eigen Land’. Tekst: dr. Jeroen van der Waal (als sovioloog verbonden aan de Erasmus Universiteit, Rotterdam), fotografie: Peter Koudstaal (WORK IN PROGRESS)