AKINA Books: Stairway to the Photobook

STAIRWAY TO THE PHOTOBOOK: From Pictures on the Wall to Printed Matter
Workshop with AKINA Books - Alex Bocchetto and Valentina Abenavoli

6 days || 28.04 - 03.05.2018 || 12 participants 
ISSP space in Riga

Every photobook is a one-way ticket to a self-contained universe with its own set of rules - editing, sequencing, design and choice of materials are all opportunities to add new layers to a body of work. A series of photographs can be a starting point for the process of creating a story and mood within two covers. During the genesis of a photobook, ambiguities and clashes, unexpected juxtapositions and riddles emerge, revealing the pleasures and pain of visual language. Every picture gains a different meaning when placed in the broader perspective of the book as a whole. Reading an image, understanding the possibilities of the editing process and image interactions, creating rhythm and dissonances are just the first steps towards understanding and creating a book. 

During the workshop, we will focus on the complete process of making a photobook - how to read it, how it is made, how to understand and evaluate its editing, choosing the right format, finding the right audience: from building up a visual narrative through theoretical tools to practical skills in binding and laying down a production plan. Creativity is improved by limitation: production doesn’t always need to be expensive and funding doesn’t need to come only through personal means. A walk-through the options of the production process and different printing processes will help shape the physicality of the book as an object.

The physical end-product of this 6-day crash course will be a book dummy of each project and the foundation for the work to come.
The workshop is open to photographers and image-makers who are close to completing a project and want to start working towards a publication. 

AKINA Books is an independent publishing house of photobooks as objects to crease, love, collect. Run by Alex Bocchetto and Valentina Abenavoli, it was founded in the hot summer of 2012 and has published more than 35 titles in both hand-made and offset-printed editions from emerging and established photographers alike, including Daisuke Yokota, Federico Clavarino, Harit Srikhao, Thomas Vandenberghe and AMprojects. AKINA work in close collaboration with its artists, covering all the steps from editing to design to production. We are passionate about books, constantly experimenting with new ways to better translate and showcase photographic work in book form where pictures are read in sequence, challenging the boundaries of the photobook medium. While being faithful to the raw photographic material and the artist’s intention, we take inspiration from cinema, artists books and hand-made bookbinding techniques in order to enhance the photographic work, creating original and challenging publications. AKINA runs a teaching and lecture program that has led us to offer workshops in more than 10 countries and given us the opportunity to work with countless talented photographers.

Send us an email (office@issp.lv, with the subject “Akina Books workshop”) with a short description of yourself and your project, together with the link to or attaching up to 10 images from the project that you wish to transform into a book. You can submit photographs or scans of illustrations, drawings, text, etc.
Application deadline: 6 April 2018.

Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis, taking into account the applicant's motivation and portfolio.

120 EUR for participants from Latvia
240 EUR for participants from other countries

A laptop with InDesign installed, basic InDesign skills;
A pre-selection of pictures from the project, no more than 50 images;
Working prints for editing (all the ones you'd like to work with);
Any material that can be potentially incorporated into the finished work (special paper/leather/material, text, drawing, stills, etc.) 

The workshop is part of the SELF PUBLISH RIGA programme. 

We are grateful to Antalis for material support.