Nie-fiksie / Non-fiction: Photography / Fotografie
Nie-fiksie / Non-fiction - Photography / Fotografie
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What a discovery! In 2014, several years after he moved to Australia, John Coetzee sold his house in Cape Town, unaware that he was leaving behind unique documents from his teenage years. In the attic of his former home, the new owners discovered a forgotten brown suitcase and a large cardboard box, containing a complete photographic archive of old prints and negatives from Coetzee's childhood never seen before.
The photographs in this photobook (taken with what John Coetzee refers to as his 'spy camera') date back to John's first two years of high school when the Coetzee family moved from Worcester to Cape Town. The images provide insight into his childhood through his own lens. He shows us his world and the things that interested him most: friends and teachers at school, cricket matches, the surroundings of Cape Town, the family Karoo farm and his home life. His mother Vera, especially, was a favourite subject. The photographs are fascinating due to their imperfections, and because they show young Coetzee's interest in documenting time and movement in order to capture life itself. At first glance, the photographs appear to depict scenes from everyday rural life in the 1950s, but their playfulness, straightforwardness, and self-awareness ensure that the photos are not merely nostalgic. Every now and then we catch a glimpse of the social reality of Cape Town during the apartheid years. And for the readers of Boyhood the photographs are an intriguing visual chronicle of Coetzee's life. Although many know him as a serious and philosophical writer, here we also see his playful, boyish side and the search for his own identity. Through Coetzee's lens we see the fleeting moments from a past which is now captured in the emulsions of his negatives.
The book also has an exclusive interview with John Coetzee about his boyhood and photo experiments.
Publication date: 2020-03-25