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Andrea Baldeck travels the world learning about and photographing other cultures. For Touching the Mekong she “spent two long sojourns in lands touched by the Mekong,” a river formed by snowmelt in Tibet, flowing through Southeast Asia touching countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
The book opens with a short two-page introduction where Baldeck provides context and texture to the photographs that occupy the rest of its 156 pages. You can feel her passion for the region and its people and you can see in the photographs her early inspiration from publications such as Life and National Geographic.
Baldeck says her photographs in Touching the Mekong are not a compendium or travelogue, but instead “are vey much a personal account of textured, nuanced, enigmatic moments in a fascinating world.” She has created images that show aspects of the landscape throughout the region and that capture the people in their homes, where they work, and in their places of worship. She has created posed portraits and also candid shots of people going about their life. We see bits and pieces from their lives including details in architecture and in the crafts and products they create.
Touching the Mekong is a book for people interested in other cultures. It provides a way for those of us who may never visit these regions to appreciate, at least in some small way, the people and culture of these locales.