Maji Moto: Dispatches from a Drought
Photographs and Lyrical Essays by Courtney Fitzpatrick
A 2012 Horse & Buggy Press Book

An excerpt from Harry Greene’s foreword…

“Those of us concerned with the fate of biodiversity are saddled with terrible dilemmas: As humans willy-nilly shape the future, we are bereft of consensus over just what to save and where to save it, let alone how to do so. In the face of shrinking habitats and climate change, with our population burgeoning and the extinction of many species inevitable, what are defensible benchmarks for conservation? And more philosophically, how can we yearn for untrammeled places yet bemoan our separation from nature? Not only are words like wilderness subject to debate, it’s as if within the last few million years, by gaining the capacity to contemplate our fate, we’ve pulled away from the natural world for which many of us profess such longing. Rather than providing direct answers to these tough questions, Maji Moto asks us to think longer and harder, inspired by the luminous prose and remarkable photographs of Courtney Fitzpatrick, a young woman who went to Kenya to study baboons . . .”

Courtney spent 17 months in the remote Amboseli basin of Kenya during 2009 and 2010. As Amboseli descended into, suffered from, and eventually emerged from the worst drought in living memory, her evocative writing and photographs became a personal record of a fragile ecosystem. The acts of writing and making photographs for Courtney— while in a region and a situation few people will ever experience—were both a process of discovery and a means for reflection.

I collaborated with Courtney for over a year, shaping this content into a fine press book as well as limited edition broadsides created through an integration of giclee printing (color photograph) and letterpress printing (three colors of text content). The stirring narrative, carried forth equally by words and images, is presented through the engaging intimacy of a hand-bound book, a tactile artifact with enduring emotional resonance.

The large-format, 88 page limited edition book is a unique balance of images (over 40 in full color) and lyrical essays (10) that manages to be both a “document” of a rather unique place and time in a remote part of the world as well as a highly personal and poetic account.

Full details including a few images and writing excerpts are here at this blogpost. A 2012 Horse & Buggy Press Production…. « Side Spur Ramblings

The book is part of an exhibit in the foyer gallery here at the H&B studio until June 30.

I'll be traveling to San Fran area in February for the biennial Codex Bookfair which is a pretty kick ass event if there are any West Coast book geeks out there. CODEX

The long term goal for Maji Moto is to find a maintstream publisher who will publish a larger trade edition to help bring Courtney's work to a larger audience. I welcome ideas. Right now we're hoping our article in American Scientist magazine, and possible articles in Orion and The Paris Review might lead to something.