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Antipodean photo books acquired by Tate

A significant milestone in antipodean photo book history occurred in April, when a collection of 52 significant Australian and New Zealand photobooks were acquired by the Tate. The collection was curated by Dr Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper, on the recommendation of photo book historian Martin Parr.

Edited and republished with permission from Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper

In April 2019, Australian photo book creators, academics and advocates, Dr Doug Spowart and Dr Victoria Cooper, completed a two year project to curate a selection of 52 significant Australian and New Zealand photo books for acquisition by the Tate, UK. The project was a labour of love and marks a significant milestone in antipodean photo book history.

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The rise of New Zealand photobooks

The inaugural Photobook New Zealand Festival 2016 and NZ Photobook of the Year Awards 2015 brought together photographers, designers and publishers, and showcased their work to the growing local and international photo book loving community.

Photobook festivals and fairs are now such a fixture of the international photography scene that one could spend their whole year trekking to an event in a different country every week. In March this year, New Zealand, joined the circuit when it hosted  the inaugural Photobook New Zealand festival from 11-13 March at Massey University, Wellington. The event was co-presented by a group of Photoforum NZ affiliates with Momento Pro sponsorship, and established and emerging photographers came out in droves, confirming that the production of photo books is alive and well in Aotearoa.

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