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Susan Meiselas: Nicaragua: June 1978-July 1979 Hardcover – September 1, 2008
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"In a culture that seemingly suffers from attention deficit disorder, photographer Susan Meiselas stands out for her insistent desire to go back and revisit the people and places she has shot... The Nicaragua project, in particular, demonstrates Meiselas's unusual commitment to return to the places where she has worked and to gain understanding of the impact her photographs have had on the lives of her subjects as well as viewers of her images." --International Herald Tribune
"The book begins relatively serenely, with photos of the impoverished masses contrasted with images of the opulent ruling class: men in flashy white suits at the government place. But as the insurrection progresses, they become increasingly violent; the picked-over remains of a dead body, bloodied children injured in a skirmish, a woman carting her husband's corpse to a safe burial spot." -- Eliza Honey --The New Yorker: The Book Bench
"Some of the photographs (such as a Molotov-tossing rebel) quickly became iconic images of the struggle; others (a 16-year-old widow pushing the body of her dead husband in a wheelbarrow, or a Sandanista playing clarinet to his fellow fighters as they hunker down behind a barricade) endure for their pure expression of humanity in the face of war." -- John Lavine --Color Magazine
"Nicaragua is striking for its almost complete lack of text within the main body of work; the sequence is carefully built to follow a train of events, and the images communicate in simple symbols the complex politics and the state of a nation." -- Jen Allan --The Royal Photographic Society
"The potency and in-your-face intensity of 'Nicaragua' hasn't diminished. It is simultaneously a time capsule of a specific political struggle and a call for citizens of all nations to become more fully engaged with the issues and concerns of our troubled world in the past, present and future." -- Neil Kendricks --The San Diego Union-Tribune
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the compressed rage of a guerrilla hurling a Molotov cocktail over a barricade; the anguish and terror of a teenaged widow trundling her husband's body in a wheelbarrow while threatened by an off-camera helicopter; the grim faces of the guerrillas, triumphant but by no means finished, as they continue their war into the future. A powerful, very graphic photo essay, best read from the beginning as it starts with the mind numbing poverty under the Somoza dictatorship, through the beginnings of the uprising by kids in blue jeans and bandannas with .22's, and then as the tide turned in favor of the Sandinistas (now heavily armed by Cuba), to final victory, with the grimy, hopeless faces of Somoza's men now tied up and awaiting beatings and possible execution. A bonus feature is a DVD of Susan's return to Nicaragua, to track down and interview the people she'd photographed over a decade before. The young widow, still wearing the same earrings as in her photo with her husband's body in the wheelbarrow, wept with disappointment that the revolution had failed to achieve dreams of a better life for the working class poor. I do have to comment that the DVD started breaking up about halfway through and became impossible to play. Nonetheless, I strongly reccommend that anyone with an interest in recent third world revolutions buy this gem before it's gone.
The content, though, was as expected, an interesting photo documentation. I will consider not to go for the cheapest alternative next time !