224 pages, 1 colour & 106 b/w photos
Language: Bilingual in English and German
Thunder rolled across the prairie – and then there was silence... It was probably more than 30 million American bison roaming the plains of the Midwest. Nothing was more powerful in the prairie, neither physically nor spiritually. With the arrival of the European settlers massive slaughter began. The (hi)story of the bison is a parable about globalisation and the interplay of technological progress, capitalism, and a lack of understanding of ecological contexts. The prairie vanished with the bison.
Now the bison returns. And this is not nostalgia. The bison is a real existing and socio-cultural phenomenon. It is a current political issue in the dispute between cattle breeders and the bison lobby. The photographers travelled through the centre of the bison country, from North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, to Montana. The magical black-and-white photographs of the bison translate the vision into reality. Buffalo Ballad is an homage to the American soul, with captivating images that are like the bison itself: unique, powerful and magical.
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Heidi & Hans-Jurgen Koch started out on their joint expedition into the world of photography some 25 years ago. Heidi, the graduate social worker, and Hans-Jurgen, the behavioral scientist, chose animals as their photographic theme. They like to call their work lifeform photography. The countless publications in the most prestigious magazines around the globe testify to their passion and professional work. What is so special about the Kochs is that that they intuitively discover what others do not see, this is how Wolfgang Behnken, the legendary Art Director of STERN magazine describes the couple. They have been awarded many prizes for their unique way to view the world and the wide range of photographic works: Art Directors Club Germany and Europe, BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year, Lead Award, Hansel-Mieth-Prize, German Prize for Scientific Photography, as well as the World Press Photo Award. They received the Dr. Erich-Salomon Award for outstanding photography in journalism, which is probably the most important international award for photography granted in Germany. Heidi & Hans-Jurgen Koch belong to the elite circle of the world's best photographers.