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Interactive Essay
Book of the Week
Dog Days, Bogotá
Dog Days, Bogotá
by Alec Soth
After completing his first book, Sleeping by the Mississippi, Alec Soth traveled with his wife to Bogotá, Colombia, to adopt a baby girl. While waiting to take Carmen Laura home, the couple spent two months in the city. Carmen’s birth mother had given her a book of letters, pictures, and poems. “I hope that the hardness of the world will not hurt your sensitivity,” she wrote. “I hope that your life is full of beautiful things.” Using her words as a mission statement, Soth started his own book for Carmen, hoping to “describe some of the beauty in this hard place” through his photographs.
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[You have] to put the intensity that you yourself have experienced into the picture—otherwise it is just a document.
René Burri
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