A love letter to photography

For forty years, famous photojournalist Ed Kashi delivered the stories of the world through images that directly involve and show humanistic challenges and joys. Forsaken Moments: A Love Letter to Photography (Kehrer Verlag, March 2022) is a window into Kashi’s unique voice and craft, and features glimpses into ordinary life, as well as extraordinary events, struggles and triumphs.

A principle of journalism is to remove your own voice, as much as possible, from the story. But a photographer’s impulses are also inextricably linked and driven by who they are. It indicates how they see, what they notice and how they compose. The book’s editor notes, “When geometry, mood, and possibility come together to unwittingly create something new, the magical, fictional qualities of still photography capture the unforeseen essence of existence. Unlike his journalistic approach of deep personal connection and acute observation, this work is about capturing the untamed energy of a moment with abandon.

In her essay for this book, “On Recollection,” photography scholar and curator Alison Nordström reflects on this intersection between intentional and unintended elements in Kashi’s work.

“Returning to his archive, long after the images have lost their primary relevance and immediate use, he reinserts his voice, his heart and his intellect into a world of images from which he had once intentionally concealed its presence.”

In Nordström’s review of how the book is structured and organized, she points out that this book partly reflects where Kashi finds herself in her career. “Recalled, reconsidered and recontextualized, these images serve as a starting point for the photographer’s retrospective meditations on his work.

Kashi shares that this book is a 40-year-old “labor of love.” He talks about the evolution of his style and methodology, revealing that “Over time, I developed a more personal, instinctive and unpremeditated approach. I often shoot from the hip. Sometimes it’s just a matter of letting my camera soak up the light in hopes that the intensity and immediacy of life-just-being-lived has been devoured in all its fullness. It is precisely the uncontrolled circumstances that trigger these images that give them their vitality and surprise.

The selected images span the decades of his work and have been taken all over the world. Kashi speaks to the “dropped moment” theme evoked by the title, stating that “dropped moments demonstrate a different kind of precision. They are shaped by serendipity and instinct, rather than objectivity and intellect. They are free to be less controlled, but for that very reason they can be more certain and more certainly true…”

Ed Kashi is a renowned photojournalist, filmmaker, speaker and educator who has been creating images and telling stories for 40 years. As a member of VII Photo Agency, Kashi has been recognized for his complex imagery and compelling portrayal of the human condition. Along with numerous awards from World Press Photo, POYi, CommArts and American Photography, Kashi’s images have been published and exhibited around the world. His editorial assignments and personal projects have generated nine books. Kashi, in partnership with his wife, writer and filmmaker Julie Winokur, founded Talking Eyes Media. The non-profit enterprise has produced numerous award-winning short films, exhibitions, books and multimedia pieces that explore important social issues.

Alison Nordstrom is an independent researcher, specializing in photographs of all kinds. She is known for her writings, speeches, curation, and administration of photographic projects in the United States and abroad. Her long career in the field includes positions as Founding Director and Senior Curator of the Southeast Museum of Photography (FL) and Senior Curator of Photographs, Director of Exhibitions at George Eastman House (NY). In 2011 Nordström received the Focus Award for Lifetime Achievement in Photography from the Griffin Museum in Boston and the Apple Valley Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence. She is currently a research associate in photography at Harvard University.

Perhaps most importantly, this book demonstrates an innovative and nuanced form of autobiography of someone whose entire professional life has been grounded in his own invisibility. By telling his life story in this way, this caring man has risen above some of the restrictions imposed by his chosen career..”—Alison Nordstrom

Kehrer Verlag: Ed Kashi: Abandoned Moments: A love letter to photography
Photographs by Ed Kashi
Texts by Ed Kashi and Alison Nordström
42 color illustrations and 26 b/w illustrations
12 x 0.5 x 9.75 inches
ISBN: 3969000440
Price: US$58, €45.00, £40

Stewart C. Hartline