Author Archive: Hans Durrer

About Hans Durrer

Hans Durrer is an author and addiction counsellor based in Switzerland., Two of his books are in English: Ways of Perception, Bangkok 2006; Framing the World, Houston 2011.

Book Review: New Path – A Window on Nenets Life by Alegra Ally

In 2016, documentary photographer and anthropologist Alegra Ally travelled to the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic to study and document the way of life of the indigenous Nentsy. For two months, and accompanied by Zalphira, an interpreter. “The Khudi family, whom I lived with, is one of 12,000 Nenets still migrating along the same […]

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Book Review: Homelands by Pieter de Vos

My interest in this book stems from a visit to South Africa in the early 1980s and the year that I spent there as a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross, mostly in Kwazulu / Natal. So I have seen my share of South African townships. That was in the mid1990s, when […]

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Book Review: Dear Mr. Picasso by Fred Baldwin

Fred Baldwin, born in 1929 in Lausanne, Switzerland, a self-declared “academic disaster,” learned “that to pass through the portals of privilege it was necessary to walk a straight line, suffer every test without complaining, follow the program no questions asked, and recognize authority from the top down.” In other words: This very well-written tome introduces […]

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Book Review: Hopes & Dreams from Cuba by Hilary Duffy

Hilary Duffy is a New York City-based photographer whose “ongoing practice is rooted in visual storytelling through collaboration.” I understand this to mean that her pictures are staged – and quite some obviously are. Probably not all of them because collaboration can also mean that the persons photographed agreed to being photographed or that they […]

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Book Review: Silent Kingdom by Christian Vizl

It is rare, at least in my experience, that so many (five plus the photographer) contribute texts to a book on photography and so I first go to the book jacket’s inner sleeve to see who they are. Unsurprisingly – we are living in narcissistic times – all of them (with one exception) are described […]

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Book Review: Moon Shine by Rachel Boillot

In order to survive, we human beings do just about everything. We’ve even invented time – an organisational tool that is immensely useful (and secures Swiss watch makers a decent income) but also terrorises us. From Lisa Volpe, who contributed the essay “Natural Rhythms: Time in the Cumberland Plateau” to this tome, I learn that […]

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Book Review: Sol Y Tierra by Emily Matyas

Given the present political climate in the United States of America, I automatically think of Mr Trump’s border wall obsession when being confronted with the subtitle of “Sol y Tierra” which is, “Views Beyond the U.S.-Mexico Border, 1988-2018.” Photographer Emily Matyas however does not engage in a discussion about border security but shows with a […]

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Book Review: This Empty World by Nick Brandt

What you get to see in this tome are colour photographs of animals and people in situations that seem somewhat unreal and, I learn from reading the accompanying texts, are staged. Photographer Nick Brandt writes that “with absolute inevitability, nearly everyone is assuming that I photographed the animals and then dropped them, via Photoshop, into […]

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Book Review: Recovered Memory by Frank Van Riper

“Why New York and Paris?” journalist and photographer Frank Van Riper asks. “New York is simple: It’s what I am. I was born in Manhattan and grew up in the Bronx, just blocks from Yankee Stadium. New York is in my blood, along with egg creams, the Daily News, the subway pastrami, and cannoli. Paris […]

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Book Review: Mistral: The Legendary Wind of Provence by Rachel Cobb

It’s been years since I’ve last been to Provence but glancing through the pages of this exquisitely done tome I feel immediately transported back in time. Not only because of what the photos show but also because I know (for I see only what I know) that they were taken in Southern France where I […]

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