Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril

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    Carlos Spottorno and Guillermo Abril
    La Grieta (The Crack)
    Astiberri Ediciones
    Bilbao, Spain, 2016
    astiberri.com

    Using the form of the graphic novel and the once-prevelant fotonovela, photographer Carlos Spottorno and journalist Guillermo Abril depict their three-year odyssey spent covering Europe’s migrant crisis together. “Smart choices were made in putting this together,” notes Joel Smith. “The authors use a palette of soft tertiary colors that recalls, perhaps sardonically, postcards of Europe from the early twentieth century. That layer of artifice helps tame and unify the clearly photographic images, which would have been hard to read in graphic sequence if left on their own.” Smith continues, “In this century comics have been rising on the spectrum of serious reportage, just as photographs have been losing their primacy. Here the two forms join in a completely intuitive way.” Narrating the journey from checkpoint to checkpoint in images and text, La Grieta makes a concerted effort to go beyond the usual short-form photo-essay and to render this difficult and timely subject more accessible to a wider public.

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