Decolonising the Camera by Mark Sealy. Published by Lawrence & Wishart Ltd.
Mark Sealy's Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time (Lawrence & Wishart, 2019) is a valuable contribution to the study of colonialism and its consequences for the visual conceptualizations of race. In recent years, photo criticism has become quite bloated, with writings far longer than they need be, or awkwardly rhetorical in their desperate pursuit for the ear-catching concept. By contrast, Sealy's research, thinking and writing are fine examples of what used to be called practical criticism. He is led by very detailed engagement with historical case studies — from photojournalism and art practice — and he draws his conclusions from them. It's such a refreshing change from theorists searching for examples to suit their theories. Sealy puts all his efforts into clarity of argument, and the results are compelling.
David Campany is a curator and writer. His latest book, On Photographs, is published next year. He is the curator of the 2020 Biennale für aktuelle Fotografie, Germany.