Kaushal Parikh’s Fragments of a Spinning Rock, a culmination of almost a decades work spread across India, is finally going to print.
A poem by Pablo Neruda broadly describes the feelings behind the images in the book:
“Nobody can claim the name of Pedro,
nobody is Rosa or María,
all of us are dust or sand,
all of us are rain under rain.
They have spoken to me of Venezuelas,
of Chiles and Paraguays;
I have no idea what they are saying.
I know only the skin of the earth
and I know it has no name.”
A lot of people ask me why I decided to self-publish. Photographers are almost always expected to fund their books and take the risks. The publisher makes a profit if the book is successful. If not then the loss is borne entirely by the photographer. An unfair and illogical partnership it seems. Self-publishing was a lot of work, but work that I thoroughly enjoyed and from which I learned a lot with regards to editing and sequencing and design. Creative inputs from people I respect and the freedom to make decisions in line with my sensibilities was very satisfying.
And making a book is something I have wanted to do from the day my son was conceived. I remember reading about an advertisement for Patek Philippe, where the father is sitting with his son and the ad copy reads, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation.” I think it is the same with photobooks; they’re something you want to keep and pass on. They’re about memory and history.
The book spreads most of the images across two pages (8 inches by 12 inches) with stitch-binding that opens flat so the gutter does not interfere with the images. The book also includes a beautiful short essay by my extremely talented writer-friend Tara Sahgal who understood exactly what this book meant to me and tied the images together perfectly with her words.