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American Photography 36

2020: In a year like no other, we are pleased to present the American Photography 36 annual award book, showcasing the best images from 2019 in hardcover as selected by a distinguished jury of photo and design experts.

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American Photography 36, under the creative direction and design of Ben Grandgenett, art director for The New York Times Magazine, is produced in hardcover with foil debossed type and includes an acetate jacket with a photograph by Bobby Doherty originally shot for New York Magazine printed in silver ink.


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At 400 pages, AP36 includes a special front matter index that highlights the clients and publications being celebrated with the winning photographers, along with a listing of all the creatives who were responsible for assigning and producing the work.

 

From over 7,000 submissions, the 348 jury-selected images are generously reproduced one image per page. See the winning collections in The ARCHIVE with creative credits and contact for the artists. Order your copy here.

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AP36 PRINTED and CENSORED in CHINA

There’s a troubling significance to the following eight winning photographs shown in spreads from the book by DAVID BUTOW, ADAM FERGUSON, BING GUAN, SANDRO MILLER, LAM YIK FEI that goes beyond their assigned purpose and visual impact in a story that involves cultural and political suppression which will be told when the time is right. 

 

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In October 2020, in the days leading up to the press run for this book, a Chinese government authority, who had previously reviewed the book over the summer, ordered production be shut down at the printing plant in mainland China unless eight images by five photographers that contained Chinese subject matter were removed. 

We refused to do so, but with no options, a decision was made based on the circumstances, schedule and budget to remove the eight images and continue printing the book in China. In protest, the pages where the images were removed have been printed blank with only the photographer's name and a statement of explanation, only to find that China had also censored our words. We did NOT replace the images as China suggested with “less offensive” images as an action of dissent; with only the photographer’s name remaining as proof that something is missing from the page. In cooperation and in mutual resistance against the autocratic power, our printer in Hong Kong, where Chinese power and their undemocratic bullying is at present less intrusive, printed the eight images as separate page inserts and include them in the book, without comment or explanation as ordered.


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We understand our complicity in printing in China and are fully aware of the censorship concerns going forward. We are therefore exploring alternate printing options for next year’s annual book in order to uphold quality and ethical concerns in properly and affordably celebrating the winning image collection in hardcover.
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AP36

Designed by Ben Grandgenett
Cover by Bobby Doherty

AI39

Designed by Debra Bishop
Cover by Nathan Devlin