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Photography Photoessays & Documentaries

A World Within

An Intimate Portrait of the Little Bow Hutterite Colony

by (author) George Webber

Publisher
Fifth House Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2005
Category
Photoessays & Documentaries
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781894856607
    Publish Date
    Mar 2005
    List Price
    $24.95

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Description

When he found out that the Little Bow Hutterite Colony in southern Alberta was to be flooded upon completion of a nearby dam, award-winning documentary photographer George Webber visited the inhabitants. He hoped they would allow him to photograph them at work and at play, before their homes disappeared forever. Over the next four years Webber witnessed and photographed, gently and unobtrusively, the daily life in the colony and finally its abandonment. They welcomed him into their barns, gardens, kitchen, dining room, school, and — ultimately — their church. This mutual respect and affection is reflected in the remarkable photographs collected in A World Within.

The necessities of documentary photography are a good match for Webber's photographic methods and sensibilities. He eschews the use of flash and prefers to work only with available light. Webber's spare, unstaged compositions reflect the simple lifestyle of the colony. The speed of film he uses gives his images strong blacks and crisp whites, the grainy greys adding warmth to each image. The result is A World Within: An Intimate Portrait of the Little Bow Hutterite Colony — an exquisite collection of black-and-white photographs, taken with an understanding, sensitivity, and spiritual connection that makes them exceptional.

A foreword on the history of Hutterites in Canada written by University of Alberta religion scholar David Goa, and a series of excerpts from Webber's journals, provide cultural context for the images.

About the author

George Webber is a renowned documentary photographer whose previous collections with Rocky Mountain Books include an illustrated edition of Robert Kroetsch's classic novel Badlands, Prairie Gothic (with Aritha van Herk), Last Call (with Karen Connelly), Alberta Book (with Fred Stenson), and Saskatchewan Book (with Lorna Crozier). He is the recipient of numerous National Magazine Awards (Canada), two Awards of Excellence from the Society for News Design (USA), and an International Documentary Photography Award (Korea). His images have been featured in American Photo, Canadian Geographic, Lenswork Quarterly, Photolife, The New York Times, and Swerve magazine. In 1999 he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in recognition of his contributions to the visual arts in Canada. George lives in Calgary, Alberta.

George Webber's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"George Webber's deep affection for his subjects is evident in this documentary profile of the Little Bow Hutterite Colony in southern Alberta. The colony's inhabitants react warmly to Webber as he photographs four years of their daily lives leading up to the abandonment of their land, which was flooded following the completion of a nearby dam. The foreword includes an extensive history of the Hutterites, and evocative excerpts from Webber's journal reveal the profound personal impact the project had on him. The compilation is as spare as the photographs themselves, and this is most pronounced toward the end of the book. Just four eerie photos are testament to the final disappearance of the place."
Canadian Geographic

"A World Within is an intense personal project Webber undertook to document the simple lifestyle of the colony."
Photo Life, Quebec City

"George Webber's deep affection for his subjects is evident in this documentary profile of the Little Bow Hutterite Colony in southern Alberta. The colony's inhabitants react warmly to Webber...."
Canadian Geographic

"Stunning!"
Avenue magazine

"Webber's work is a remarkable, sensitive tribute to trust, to home and, in his own words, to 'the impermanence of life on the prairie.'"
Swerve

"An exquisite portrayal of Hutterite life"
The Calgary Herald

"Photographer George Webber captures 'the heroic quality of simple lives.'"
Legacy

"The pages turn by themselves."
Alberta Views

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