Concresco

Title: Concresco

Photographer/s: David Galjaard

Contributor/s: Text: Slavenka Drakulic & Jaap Scholten

Date of publication: 21 April 2012

Place of publication: Den Haag (The Hague), The Netherlands

Dimensions: 213 x 340 mm

Edition size: 750

Type of binding: Soft cover with embossing, Swiss binding

Number of pages: 168

Type of paper: 90 and 150 grams Hello fatmat 1.1

Number of pictures: 62

Type of printing: Offset

Printer: Pantheon

Publisher: Self-published

Designer: Katie McGonigal

Language: English

ISBN: 978-94-6190-781-3

Category: Book

Price: 45,- euro

Summary: Fearing an attack from abroad, Albanian Stalinist leader Enver Hoxha had around 750,000 above-ground bunkers built during his time in power, from 1945 until his death in 1985. This amounts to one bunker per four Albanians, in a country the size of Belgium. Although built for protection, they proved counterproductive in that they merely helped to create more fear in the utterly isolated population. After the collapse of communism in 1991, the virtually indestructible bunkers were deprived of their unfulfilled purpose, serving purely as an obtrusive reminder of a dictatorship that had had lasted for almost fifty years.

Today their massed presence seems mainly to impress foreigners, while Albanians themselves prefer to look to the future. The country’s admission to NATO on 1 April 2009 is felt to be a first step towards joining the European Union. Although accession to the EU is expected to take at least another ten years, the population has a sense of being ready for it.

In this documentary, the bunkers are used as a visual metaphor in the telling of a larger social story. They help to paint a picture of developments in a country that was the last in Europe to renounce communism and has set out on a demanding quest to become part of the capitalist West.

The bunkers do not merely tell an absurd story about a xenophobic regime in a totalitarian past. The diverse uses they are put to today and the fact that more and more of them are disappearing – and how – also shows that what was until recently the poorest country in Europe is slowly but surely undergoing a profound change.

Date and place of birth of photographer/s: 15 April 1983, Haarlem, The Netherlands

Website: www.davidgaljaard.nl

Book link: http://www.davidgaljaard.nl/shop.php?s=1

Donated by: David Galjaard

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Exhibition Catalog for “A Survey of Documentary Styles in Early 21st Century Photobooks”

More about the exhibition here, here and here.
Order the book here.
Thank you to Patrick Aguilar of Owl & Tiger Books who did such an outstanding job designing the iPL’s first exhibition catalog!

“…the Indie Photobook Library is fast becoming one of Washington’s more interesting small collections.” – Mark Jenkins, Washington Post Express, November 9, 2011

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