FIRST PHOTOBOOK AWARD WINNER: Libyan Sugar
Michael Christopher Brown
Twin Palms Publishers, Santa Fe, NM, 2016
Designed by Michael Christopher Brown and Ramon Pez
“An impressive book — you feel as though you are in the war with the photographer.” (Thomas Zander)
“Libyan Sugar offers a strong combination of the personal and the documentary.” (Katja Stuke)
Libyan Sugar is a compelling, emotional document that chronicles the experiences of then-fledgling photojournalist Michael Christopher Brown during the Libyan revolution in 2011, including the tragic deaths of his colleagues Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, as well as his own injuries from the same incident that killed them. The images are often brutal, interspersed with journal entries and e-mail and Facebook correspondence with Brown’s family and colleagues. His family shares media reports from their side or pedestrian news of their lives, which he counters with white lies, reassuring them that everything is fine. Throughout the four hundred images, anxiety, outright fear, and horror are concretely expressed via the selection and sequencing of images and text. “It makes me, as a reader, very aware of the mental dissonance that Brown must have experienced, and allows me to better understand what it must be like for veterans or reporters who return from war,” says Becky Senf.