Photography book review: Kif, By Seba Kurtis


Saturday 13 April 2013 18:57

Much of the work of the Argentinean photographer Seba Kurtis has been about the social and cultural effects of economic migration, and is informed by his personal experience of being an illegal immigrant.

His latest book, Kif, published in a limited edition of 300, is a tribute to Dodo, a deceased close friend with whom he shared a flat (and illegal status) in Tenerife. The book retraces the journey Dodo made as a one-time drugs mule from Chefchaouen in Morocco back to Europe. (It is estimated that Morocco supplies 70 per cent of Europe's hash – or 'kif' as it is known locally – and that growing cannabis supports 90,000 Moroccan households.)

However, this is not documentary photography. Some of Kurtis's pictures have a bleached out, over-exposed quality, while others have disorienting or abstract compositions, lending the book a nostalgic air and an entirely appropriate hazy or hallucinatory quality.

Here Press £15

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