Gaza Blå – #ReadIt!

I’ve always had a fascination for bookshops, you know? When I was a child, I loved going into these places full of knowledge, images and words. They seemed almost like magical places.
Over the years my passion for the editorial sector has increased, leading me now to collaborate with fellow colleagues (but first and foremost friends) from university on this magazine. However, I realise how this innate fascination has taken over – in a good way – my character.

When I enter a bookshop, I almost feel like a detective going through the shelves and investigating what to buy next. A practice common to all book lovers, I think. A practice that followed me to Malmö, during my short but intense stay in the Swedish town with my girlfriend.

It was indeed while visiting José Leonilson’s exhibition that I came across the Malmö Konsthall bookshop, a real goldmine for art, graphic design and art publishing lovers.
I admit that the only thing that stopped me from buying the multitude of titles on display was the lack of money.

My eyes couldn’t stop for a second, every time I looked I found a book worthy of attention.

Despite this large collection of information, only one came out the winner with me in the bag: gaza blå.

A photo book or photo story (call it what you like) made up of wonderful pictures taken probably around 1959 on the Gaza strip.

But don’t think of this title as a simple photo book, it is in fact something much more. gaza blue is a celebration of the colour blue, which has a strong value in the story in question.
Blue are the UN soldiers’ helmets, blue is the sky, the sea, the schoolchildren’s clothes and the bag containing those 36 slides, which also have a bluish hue.

The focus of the project created by Janne Björkman is the celebration of the memory of a relative (Bo Björkman) who experienced first-hand war territories, devastated areas reduced to misery, but exalting the only colour that actually brings back calm, depth and harmony in all its shades.

Through a numbered circular map, Susanne Ekelund (graphic designer of the project) and Björkman guide the reader to an understanding of the blue shades in the book. 108 colours obtained thanks to a method that I will report below:


tre blå färgprover
från varje bild

108 färger från
36 fotografier

vālj sedan ut
36 fārger
och sedan
12 färger

framträder färgen
gaza blå

alla val
sker subjektivt
och med hänsyn
till helheten


three blue samples
from each picture

in all
108 colours from
36 photographs

36 samples
12 colours

appears the colour
gaza blue

all selections
are subjective
and with a view to
the whole

To round off this fantastic work there are sentences with a poetic tone that once again refer to the tranquillity and peace that the book wants to convey with its images, carrying out in fact a contrast between the subject represented and the presentation of the elements that confirms the simplicity of the idea developed for its realisation.

Janne Björkman and Susanne Ekelund, my sincere thanks.

I encourage you to seek out and find this book in order to fully enjoy the experience described above.

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