The 2018 Writers-Readers Festival was a busy one for me, I committed to going to about a dozen talks and writing something about each one. This included two talks by the writer, critic and photographer Teju Cole. I’m a big fan and particularly loved his book Blind Spot which was part of the focus for his visit.
As I said here when I wrote the review this was a brilliant but infuriating talk. I really felt for the organiser/s and tech-support people. Cole announced at the start that he hadn’t been interested in attending the tech soundcheck and figured they’d just plug in and get started.
Murphy’s law was applied here, so the laptop didn’t connect, the slides he wanted to speak to weren’t ready and he improv-chatted while scurrying workers sorted a mess he created.
He then spoke brilliantly about some amazing works – featuring 12 of his favourite photographers, a mix of famous portrait and landscape names and also some street photographers; everything from best-selling exhibitors to people only with an Instagram presence.
He then took questions and spoke about his own work briefly at the end.
A passionate, knowledgeable, articulate speaker – but he gave clues here too that he was a bit of an arsehole to deal with in this sort of setting.
Stubs is an occasional feature here at Off The Tracks – looking back through the ticket-stub box and remembering how the show went down.