Atong Atem: Surat
The first photobook by South Sudanese, Melbourne-based artist Atong Atem and the second in the PHOTO Editions series, ‘Surat’ (which translates from Sudanese Arabic as “snapshots”) is a celebration of the visual language of family photographs and photography as an extension of our oral traditions. Atem revisits her family photo albums, which span decades and continents, restaging and reimagining the scenes and people they depict. The result is a performative depiction of photography, a series of self-portraits that utilises the medium’s implicit repetition of dressing, posing, adjusting, and capturing. For Atem, the book is also about movement, both geographic and historic.