Create: AG23 Contributor Series, Andrew Kaufman

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Welcome to the first film in a series I hope to expand upon in tandem with my filmmaking ability and time dedicated to all things AG23. As I’ve mentioned many times before, in over a decade at Blurb I’ve never had a collaboration like this.

One of the most important things we can do is promote the contributors. The creative industry was shell-shocked prior to the pandemic and now finds itself in an even more precarious position. If there is ANYTHING we can do to help put these folks on the radar of decision makers or budget holders then we are doing something right.

I’ve known Andrew Kaufman for years. In fact, I traveled to Panama with Andrew in 2010 to see for myself what all the canal fuss was about. We drank ice cold beers, wrote in our journals, and spent DAYS making pictures. I knew Andrew’s canal project was perfect for AG23 and was something that more people should be exposed to. The canal doesn’t make headlines here in the states, but it should.

Over twelve years in the making, Kaufman’s archive lives a testament to time, place, and history. Color and black and white, multiple formats and all captured in a beautiful book, both softcover and hardcover limited edition, that will exist long after you and I are but dust.

This was the perfect style of project for the zine. Long-form thought out, published, and covering a topic of global importance. A project like this, here in the United States, is often viewed as being “not sexy,” so embarking on a multi-year voyage like this takes wild commitment, something we are keen to promote.

Have a look, have a listen.

Comments 5

  1. I’ll come back to this. Got hung up on trying to figure out how to combine the writing and a photo in a zine/book in the image above.

  2. Looks awesome. Photographing in colour, black and white, and journaling a long term documentary project in a foreign country. Perfect.

    I envy people that have the persistence to continue over so many years. I’m full of ideas that I start and then abandon soon after. It drives me crazy.

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      It’s a difficult way of working because you know that the industry will often have no idea what to do with this. And you often have to educate people along the way without making them feel like they don’t know anything. I once had to tell a travel editor in LA that Cambodia was next to Vietnam and that we had once been involved in a war there. She had no idea what Cambodia was or where it was or any of the history. And this was a photo-editor for a travel mag. No joke. Now, you mention a celebrity, at least at that time, and they were all ears.

  3. Dan, this is truly inspiring. What a great story, the work involved in a twelve-year project blows my mind. My AG23 is hopefully shortly to be winging its way across the Atlantic courtesy of a friend in Texas. I’m looking forward to seeing the work in print.

    I’m embarrassed to admit I had a vague idea the Panama canal had been expanded, but that was the extent of my knowledge. I’ve been checking out Andrew’s other work on his website, and I could certainly see myself picking up a copy of The Isthmus. So I think you can safely say in both these regards AG23 as met its goal.

    Boy, do I need to up my journalling game!

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      Ha, just when you think your journal is great you see another level. Don’t feel bad about Panama. I was by no means an expert and it took Kaufman a while to get up to speed. The world is full of these stories. Let me know what you think of AG!

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