A Beautiful Anarchy: Book Review
A warning before you begin this book review of David DuChemin’s latest book offering ‘A Beautiful Anarchy’. I am not a David DuChemin cheerleader but I will appear like one with this review! I am not being paid/bribed/held at gunpoint while I write this review. I write this review because I seriously think this is a book all photographers and creatives should read. It is inspiring and worth every second spent reading it. So here is the review….
2014 has not been an easy year for me either personally or professionally. It is has been full of barriers to knock down and walls to climb over. I became a full-time humanitarian/travel photographer a year ago when my husband and I decided to stop trapping ourselves with the man-made restraints we wrap around our lives. I have both loved and hated the last year in fairly equal measure but I have never felt so alive! After another life hurdle (family health crisis) came our way this week we started to talk about whether we had made the right choice selling our home and all the stuff in it last year or whether it would just be easy to settle back down. This conversation did not last long as we know it is no longer in us to ‘settle’. However hard the last year has been being unsettled has brought more creativity and love into our lives, and more awareness of our potential to love and be creative, than at any other point since we met. We no longer feel as if we are just existing. Following this conversation and this time of reflection I was excited to see that David DuChemin’s new book ‘A Beautiful Anarchy’ had been released. I had been watching his Facebook feed for a while in anticipation of this. I have always enjoyed his books both as a photographer and as someone who enjoys a range of visual arts. I expected to buy the book and slowly work my way through it over a few weeks as I had done with previous books written by David. This is not what happened. I bought it today and then sat glued to the pages (or in my case my Mac screen) until I had read the whole thing!
I do not think this is just a book for photographers, or even those who would call themselves artists. I think this is a book for people. It screams against the darkness of a life not lived and every word written is about seizing life by the scruff of the neck and claiming it as your own. It is about all the fear and doubt that stops us doing what we have been born to do, it is about the times we fail and let those failures overpower us, it is about the shit that sometimes gets in the way of us fulfilling our talents and our dreams. This is a book about not knowing what you are going to do or how you are going to do it but having the guts (even if it is fake courage!) to get up and live life anyway. It is about doing stuff and not just talking about it. It is about when we make mistakes and then scramble up knees bloody and try again. It is about striving for the best work we can create, not because we should but because if we don’t we are losing a part of ourselves. This book has been total affirmation today of the life I have chosen to live. It is not an easy life, but it is one well worth living.
*All art work on this blog post is David DuChemin’s and is taken from his book. Check out the blog that accompanies the book at