More than two years in the making, 15 people involved, six production companies, one designer, one lithographer, one supervisor, one photographer. Thank you for taking part in my journey. Laura El-Tantawy
Sybren Kuiper (-SYB-) - Design & Book Concept
"There are many photo books produced about the world around us. Books about the physical world we live in. About buildings in Sao Paulo, gay marriages in Amsterdam, food cults in Italy, an upcoming neighbourhood in New York City, sex trafficking in Thailand, a revolution on a famous square in Cairo. Books about “things” that reflect light and therefore can be photographed. There are far fewer books about our inner world. Books about the absence of something, because well… how do you photograph that?
When Laura asked me to design the book for her new project “Beyond Here Is Nothing”, I was intruiged. The project was, except for the quality of photography, totally different from “In the Shadow of the Pyramids”. In a way, it was a book about absence. The absence of belonging, the absence of home. The emotional vacuum of being in transit all the time. Being somewhere but never completely. About the mind franticly trying to fill the hole in ourself with impressions but never quite succeeding.
In my mind the avalanche of images Laura sent me for her new book should be just that. Very present but illusive at the same time. Non linear. Chaotic. Multi-dimensional. Multi-interpretable. Images making new connections with other images all the time, without ever revealing what they are really about, because they slip away in every direction possible but never the same. In that sense it is a lonely and emotional book not withstanding the staggering amount of stunning pictures. A Pandora's Box. Open it up and all the demons of loneliness are set loose to haunt the reader, confronting him or her with their own feelings of not belonging, but also with the beauty of it."
Sebastiaan Hanekroot, Colour & Books - Lithography and production supervision
"Although I’m quite used to working on special book projects, this was a particularly special one. The concept of a case-bound book that opens three ways was a first for me. There were so many steps involved in producing such a book. I recognised the need to put together a very dedicated team and put together a recess with enough checks to make sure we end up with the right outcome. Managing expectations was a major issue. In total, we had no less than six production companies involved - in Lithuania, The Netherlands, plus the designer plus Laura in the UK. A very clear communication with all involved was vital and was my main concern.
Printing on the uncoated paper always puts a strain on the image preparations for printing. The colour space in full colour printing is severely hampered by this rough paper. Often the darker tones in the images tend to lose their vibrancy. They just look blackish. This would have been very damaging for this work. The photographs had to maintain their colourful expression throughout. Making sure this happened was a major concern for me in the lithography involved in this book."
Photos in this section by Sebastiaan Hanekroot, Jos Morree, Ramunas Bridikis, Anke van der Schaaf & Laura El-Tantawy