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Naked spine, soft cover with a plastic jacket
20 x 26 cm
96 pages
45 color plates
Munken Lynx 150 gsm
300 copies
Self-published
ISBN 9789730255997

Price: 30 EUR + Shipping =

Over borders, home is Eastern Europe. Waves of red-yellow-blue, the country of whose nostalgia is layered, of whose millennials have hyper-fast internet, plenty of acquaintances over borders and firm plans to go abroad as well. Home is one of those places where migration is a choice, but not a privilege. And Hometowns, the tiny cities, once diamonds of a peculiar Socialism, suffer now from depopulation or are falling apart sooner than authorities come to their rescue. In Hometowns, sooner or later as passengers, people return.

Hometown is a visual research about migration, identity, homesickness, and about what happens to the places where we grew up while we make a life someplace else. The book itself beholds scars of distance being assembled mostly on Skype, between 4 European capitals. This is the visual story of the Romanian photographer Dragoș Hanciu and other tens of thousands of people who annually migrate from their homelands with no prospects to go back. Dragoș, now a pass-byer, has been silently wandering around his hometown for the last 6 years; he observes from distance and takes photos of places that hold something from the past & serve as postcards in the future.

The atmosphere from the photographs gives us the impression of a silent sleepwalk in a surreal, contradictory post-industrial landscape mixed with the architecture of a 7th-century-old city. The images are embedded with the lo-fi kind of texture which gives memories an oxymoronic sense of materiality. The photographs are inhabited by an ineradicable feeling of familiarity, because they represent other small, depopulated Hometowns.

There is a soft layer of dust, like a filter of time that you can’t wipe off these images. A dog, an old woman, a young one, a fence, a good friend, a light at the end of a street are leaving your eyes at a dialectal ease. Is that where you grew up?

extracts from the afterword by Jasmina Al-Qaisi

Dragos Hanciu: photography and book concept
Fiorenza Pinna: curator, editor and book concept
Jasmina Al-Qaisi: writer, visual ethnographer
LOOT: cover and text design
Fabrik: printing house, Romania

Financed by Romania's National Cultural Fund and crowdfunding.

Polycopies, Paris Photo 2018
PHotoESPAÑA: Shortlisted - Best Self-published Photography Book of the Year Award, Madrid 2018
Encontros da Imagem: Photo book Award Finalist - Braga, Portugal 2018
Istanbul Photobook Festival: Photobooks of the World, Istanbul 2018

Bookstores: Berlin (25books, do you read me?!), Paris (La Nouvelle Chambre Claire, Picto/La Comète) Vienna (Salon fur Kunstbuch, Lia Wolf, 12-14 contemporary), Rome (Leporello, Officine Fotografiche), Cologne (Café Lehmitz, artbookscologne), Lugano (Choisi) and Bucharest (Cărturești, Fabrik)

Public Libraries: SAVVY.doc, Berlin

Exhibitions

Upcoming
Garaj, Bucharest

Past

2018
Corridor Project Space, Amsterdam: "A Future of Travel" - book exhibition
Lovelace, Munich - exhibition and book presentation
Common Past - Common Future performance festival, Vienna - exhibition and book presentation
Transylvania International Film Festival, Cluj - exhibition, book presentation, artist talk @ Minerva Gallery


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