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Unfamiliar Familiarities.
Outside Views on Switzerland.


Photographs by Alinka Echeverría, Shane Lavalette, Eva Leitolf, Simon Roberts, and Zhang Xiao. Designed by Pilar Rojo. Editied by Peter Pfrunder, Lars Willumeit, Tatyana Franck.
Lars Müller, Zurich, Switzerland, 2017. 312 pp., 200 color and black-and-white illustrations, 6½x9".

 
Selected as one of the Best Books of 2017 by:
Publisher's Description

For Unfamiliar Familiarities five internationally renowned photographers from all over the world were invited to scrutinize Switzerland as independent and subjective observers – unrestricted by any advertising commission. Their images invite viewers to see the familiar with the eyes of an outsider.

Switzerland’s image has been significantly shaped by photographs dedicated to tourism. Through spectacular mountain panoramas, snapshots of rural idylls or portraits of local people, the country could be successfully marketed and these photographs also made an important contribution towards national identity. Another consequence, however, was that the respective pictorial repertoire became inflated and stereotyped. Today these glorified stereotypical views are disconnected from reality and need an overhaul.

What the photographers Alinka Echeverría (Mexico/UK), Shane Lavalette (USA), Eva Leitolf (Germany), Simon Roberts (UK) and Zhang Xiao (China) discovered on their travels around Switzerland or along the country’s borders is both inspiring and revealing. An exhibition opening in 2017 in Winterthur displays the works.


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