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  • Angela Costigan

Books I Adore - 'Humanity, A Celebration of Life'

Ten or so years ago (it's actually MUCH more than that, but if I leave it around 'ten', I don't feel as old), the 'M.I.L.K' collection released a series of photographic books.

M.I.L.K = Moments of Intimacy, Love and Kinship.

There were three separate books - Family, Friendship and Love. To quote the first line of 'Humanity', the book that brought all three separate titles together:

'The M.I.L.K Collection is the result of an epic global search for 300 extraordinary and geographically diverse photographs of family life, friendship and love.'

'Humanity' was given to me by an old friend, for my birthday or Christmas or maybe just 'coz - that's the sort of friendship we had. The book embodied how we both saw the world; through a lens that was steadfastly set to 'beauty, positivity and connection'.

I find myself turning to this book whenever I'm feeling a tad disconnected or disheartened about the world or the happenings in my own little life bubble. Scroll back up and look at that first photo. That's no 'display' book - that's a book that has been thumbed through 1000 times over the past twenty, opps, I mean, ten years.

Photo Credits: (LHS) Noelle Tan (RHS) Amelia Panico, pg 162 & 163*

The book reminds us that as humans, we all experience the same joy, the same heartbreak, the

same sense of kinship; regardless of where we might walk this planet or what language we speak or clothes we wear while we walk it.

Photo Credit: Guus Rijven, pg 123*

There are so many beautiful images. There are also many heartbreaking ones. I thought about sharing those here, but then I decided against it. It doesn't seem right to showcase the pain of others for the purpose of my humble blog post.

I see myself and my life experiences in so many of the photographs in this book.

After much consideration, and many years of pouring over its pages, I've settled on one image as my favourite.


Photo Credit: RIcardo Ordonez, pg 332*

I can't find the words, really. It's everything. It reminds me of my nonna and nonno. Their home, their love for one another, their house. Even the darn silver leaves on that cake remind me of them.

It's the idea that love might last a lifetime and when it does, you might just find yourself sitting across a humble timber table, sharing a secret smile with your best friend on your 60th wedding anniversary.

We should all be so lucky.

There are 300 photographs in this book. Chosen from over 40,000 entries.

Photos of Family.

Photo Credits: (LHS) Luca Trovato, pg 77 (RHS) Dave Marcheterre, pg 111*

Photos of Friends.

Photo Credit: Pisit Senanunsakul, pg 137*

And photos of Love.

Photo Credits: (LHS) Noelle Tan, pg 162 (RHS) Amelia Panico, pg 163*

In so many darling forms.

Photo Credit: Todd Davis, pg 328*

It truly is a book to uplift the soul. A book to remind us all of our Humanity.

Photo Credit: Y Nagasaki, pg 347*

*I'm a good person, honestly I am. But it's been a LOONNNGGG time since I was at uni and the days of me remembering how to correctly reference something are long gone friends. So. Photographers, publishers, creators of all creative things, know this - I love your work, I have no intention of stealing it or not giving you the credit you deserve. I have tried my best to ensure people know whose photos these are and where they've come from. If my methods offend you, please make contact and I will remove the offending, ill-referenced photo. That is all.


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