Flex Mentallo

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Everything posted by Flex Mentallo

  1. Hundreds of years of racism and imperialism has left Africa labelled, “the Dark Continent.” At the very least, Africa is a very big place; a place that also just so happens to be both the first home of the human race and remains the home of 1.288 billion people today, and for all those years in between that continent witnessed the rise and change of countless cultures within it.
  2. Published twenty years apart, yet almost identical in form and presentation, these are amazing books. Of the hundreds of photos, the bulk are printed at full page and many even span a full two-page spread. printed on heavily coated gloss stock. The photo reproductions are stunning in their clarity and brightness, the colors of Africa virtually leaping off the page.
  3. “These books will open the eyes and hearts of those who seek to reconnect the beauty and sacredness of these ancient rituals with a culturally impoverished and spiritually distressed modern world." Malidoma Patrice Somé author and shaman
  4. African Ceremonies/African Twilight Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher
  5. Sorry about the low quality images taken from my copy. There are very few extant images available on the internet, but here are some that I managed to find, of varying quality.
  6. When you consider the quality of the color film stocks available in the late 60's & early 70's, the difficulty of shooting in extreme cold, & the difficulty of preserving the exposed film until development could take place; the end results are even more remarkable.
  7. Shirakawa's work encompasses four parts of the Himalaya: Nepal, Punjab (Kashmir), Sikkim, and the Hindu Kush. He describes in his travel narratives the difficulty of creating a photo book encompassing the entirety of the range when there were so many political restrictions on where he could go and what he could photograph in the late 1960s. His perseverance served him well, however, and he got not only access but encouragement in his photography and travel in Nepal during the 1965-1969 ban on foreign visitation to the outlying areas (including the use of the King's private plane and trekking access to Everest, Annapurna, and Kanchenjunga), air access to the Afghan side of the Hindu Kush, and permission to enter Kashmir. He was thwarted, however, in his attempts to enter Garwhal, northern Pakistan, and Bhutan. His need to work on a tight schedule and a tight budget often placed his life in danger, such as trekking to Everest Base Camp without proper acclimatization or flying at dizzying heights with little or no oxygen.
  8. Over 17" tall, this book is a magnificent publication. It has stood the test of time and is at least the equal of any photography book published since at least in my experience. [NB If these photos give you the urge to get one, make sure it is the first edition from 1971 as later editions are inferior in size and quality.]
  9. "If we were to try to hit upon a man to obtain a picture of God, it would need to be Shirakawa... This collection of photographs is an immortal, astonishing book." The New York Times
  10. The first time that the great Himalaya, stretching 3000km from Bhutan to Afghanistan, had been photographed. Considering that several years were spent at extreme altitude in what was then a very remote part of the world with virtually none of the creature comforts that are taken for granted today, it stands as one of the greatest landscape photography achievements of all time.
  11. Himalayas: Photographed by Yoshikazu Shirakawa Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1971. (12 x 17 inches), 248-full page illustrations in full color and 6 fold-out color plates, 6 maps and diagrams.
  12. I have neighbors above and below who are somewhat sensitive to noise. So a goldfish it is - as long as it doesn't sing!