That Q volume of Matador magazine, edited by Robert Pledge and lavishly presented in 15" x 20" large format, is utterly devoted to photography and delves into the best of it, with images created by Sebastiao Salgado, Lu Guang, Catherine Leroy, Yun Suyeon, Edward Burtynsky, Stephan Dupont, Annie Leibovitz, Kosuke Okahara, Sim Chi Yin, Sammy Baloji, Taslima Akhter and David Burnett, integrated in a top-notch edition making up a relish for any enthusiast of photography.
Alberto Anaut (director of La Fabrica Editorial and PhotoEspaña) addresses the attendance before giving the floor to Robert Pledge during the act of presentation of the Matador Q In Praise of the Photography magazine, a new qualitative milestone in the diachronic evolution of this international first-class cultural publication which started up in 1995 and launches a number per year, being scheduled to have edited a total figure of 28 volumes until 2022.
During his presentation speech, Robert Pledge explained that this Matador Q In Praise of Photography volume is devoted to documentary photography both in its photojournalistic and artistic scope and its pages include images made by twelve photographers from eleven different countries, from three generations, men and women featuring various stuyles, approaches and philosophies regarding photography: Taslima Akhter (Bangladesh), Sammy Baloji (Democratic Republic of Congo), David Burnett (United States), Edward Burtynsky (Canada), Stephen Dupont (Australia), Annie Leibovitz (United States), Catherine Leroy (France), Lu Guang (China), Kosuke Okahara (Japan), Sebastiao Salgado (Brazil), Sim Chi Yin (Japan) and Yun Suyeon (South Korea).
He also expressed his thrill on realizing how unlike many people could think in this time of utter transformation, in which technology and digital revolution have greatly modified everything and printed press is disappearing, there´s still an increasing number of committed photographers travelling worldwide, exploring and researching the stories and subjects they´re interested on, those spheres being worth and drawing their attention. It´s a personal decision, nobody sends them, few people pay them for being there, but they do it. It´s a dedication of their own as photojournalists, and they manage to find ways to show and divulge their works, both in the internet and specially making their own books, organizing exhibitions with their images, making contact with collectors and obtaining economical support from a number of institutions.
Likewise, regarding Matador Q In Praise of Photography, Robert Pledge did point out that it isn´t a vindication of photography as such, but something much humbler and easier: to take advantage of the chance to work with great photographers, some of them already famous like Sebastiao Salgado, Annie Leibovitz or Edward Burtynsky and other ones lesser known but also being serious and sporting a very high level of commitment, all of them with different backgrounds, personal stories, experiences and ways to grasp photography in their visual research.
© Text and Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza