John Gleisner review of Graces Song
"Grace's Song" by Tony Maturin and the Village Poets
A review by John Gleisner
If you saw Tony Maturin’s earlier book of photographs from Cambodia you will need no persuading to sample his new book, ‘Grace’s Song’. This time Tony has put together a collection of sepia photos from Eastern Cape Province in South Africa. He has been living there for the past two years as a VSA volunteer. The photos have a commentary as well as some poems by local poets. Almost all the photos are of people. People who are being helped by local NGO’s. And the few that are not of people show some of the material poverty which is their life. And the purpose of the book is to ‘celebrate the human dignity found in poverty’. The quality of these photos is quite outstanding and as I commented on the ones in his last collection, they are very reminiscent of the great photographer, Sebastiao Salgado, who devoted his life to photographing dispossessed people. Also many of the poems add another degree of poignancy to what is otherwise simple brutal poverty.