Bloomsbury are to release a new edition of Another Way of Telling, John Berger and Jean Mohr’s eloquent examination of the nature of photography. First published in 1982, the book has long been out of print.
Born in London in 1926, John Berger trained as a painter but is best known as an art writer, novelist and radical political commentator. In 1972, he won the Booker Prize for the experimental novel G. and donated half the winnings to the Black Panthers. The same year he baited traditionalist art critics with his BBC television series and book Ways of Seeing, which still stands as a core text on many university courses.
In 1962, a mutual friend recommended the Swiss photojournalist Jean Mohr to Berger. The two men quickly struck up a friendship that endures to this day. After working together on magazine articles, they collaborated on A Fortunate Man (1967), an account of the life of a country doctor. Four more volumes followed, including Another Way of Telling.
Starting out with a series of questions – “What is a photograph? What do photographs mean? How can they be used?” – Berger and Mohr develop their own "possible theory" of the medium, focusing on the ambiguity that they see at its heart.
In their conception, the photograph is a “meeting place where the interests of the photographer the photographed, the viewer and those who are using the photography are often contradictory.” The text is accompanied by 230 of Mohr’s photographs.