Workshop Aftermath: La Nuu Festival / Rubí, Barcelona

It’s somewhat unfair that, once finished, the workshop’s amazing process of photobook making where so many great book projects are born (and not all happen to reach its audience or to be published) falls into oblivion. So, let’s shed some light on the process and its result, dummies. Will that probably help some of the dummies go real? We do hope so.

In late October we held one of the most inspiring dienacht Photobook-making Workshops at La Nuu Festival in Rubí, Spain. Many thanks to Carles, David, Jordi who made this beautifully curated Festival with such a warm personal approach, that instigated everybody’s creativity and brought about the dummies we are happy to share below. Interestingly, there are more dummies than participants this time.

A subtle story about getting back home, reconciling with the circumstances, surroundings and finally with oneself. It goes like wandering through thick forest filled with the unknown and unsettling, taking different paths in search of relief. And softly trees let go. The dummy is made with two different variants of cover: 1. Open spine binding with soft wooden cover and transparent band around with title on it and 2. completely naked open spine bound paper block inside a diagonally cut slip case. Long vertical format echoes with the form of a tree trunk and has a distinct fragile touch. Inside are several full spread images with fold-outs.

Maelström stands for a powerful whirlpool in the sea or a river that has a power of sucking into anyone and anything within its reach. Just like those fundamental changes in life that cause everything to spin and mix and are totally irresistible. Just like motherhood that changes drastically everything a woman is used to. Caroline's dummy features photographs belonging to the period right before and after becoming a mother, reflecting on the mixed feelings. Apart from photographs the dummy features drawings of Maelström - as fold outs. An abstract cover picture stems from of one of the multiple "waterscapes" featured in the book. Flesh colour of both cover and end paper highlight the vitality of the project. The dummy is Swiss bound.

It is a documentary project that deals with such a topic that somehow undermines the idea of reality, which makes it so intriguing. “I make photographs within fictitious Iraqi and Afghan villages on the training grounds of U.S. Army bases. The villages serve as a strange way station for people heading off to war and for those who have fled it. U.S. soldiers interact with pretend villagers who are often recent immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan, who have now found works in America playing a version of the lives they left behind.” The main challenge was to sequence the series in a way that would not reveal the main point from the very beginning, but would rather keep the uncertainty about whether it is reality of theatre till the very end. For this serious documentary body of work we went for the classical hardcover binding, with cloth cover and with (a would-be) embossed image and foil stamping on the cover.

It is a life-long photo project beyond any borders and formats, and therefor beyond any conventional forms of photobooks or zines. Therefore the implementation is conceived literally as a pile of different publications in various formats tied together by a thick thread. The aim is to show that this project is actually about the process of making it. At the Workshop 4 dummies from the final set were made: 1. a series printed on thick transparent paper with one screw binding so that the images can be juxtaposed and assembled in various ways; 2. Space series of loose posters on metallic paper held by a mirror banderole; 3. a zine printed on natural beige paper with multiple repetitions of images; Japanese binding; series bound rightly by a wire in order to be ripped apart and destroy the images. And 2 more formats were tried out to be printed afterwards: 5. Series with distortions printed on mirror paper alluding to surrealist movies of the 1920s and 6. an enormous portrait poster folded down to A4 format.
It is a tragic story of a brother missing his twin brother (who never happened to see light) as an integral part of himself.

It is a lakeside story from Latvia that has only hints, leading the viewer through the maze of events. Thick transparent cover with a photogram hiding a ghost behind is followed by the first image of someone in a mask, suggesting: okay, we are here to play. It might feel like a detective story with clues scattered around in the grass right below your feet but still somehow seeming vague and ambiguous. It might feel like a quaint dance with landscapes alternating with scenes of unusual body movements resembling a dance. One way or another, all the lakeside dreamy images eventually dissolve, leaving you with the feeling. You have had an experienced. Apart from photographs, the dummy features photograms printed on transparent paper. Dummy has soft cardboard cover with transparent dust jacket and pamphlet binding with a sparkling thread.


"I strongly recommend taking a workshop with Calin and Yana Kruse of 'dienacht Publishing'. The one that was organized by La Nuu Photo Festival in Rubi near Barcelona exceeded my expectations. As a group we worked long hours into the night on putting together our book dummies, each one of which was quite unique. I was proud of what was accomplished in just four days – everyone left with a better understanding of the book publishing process, and a solid book dummy in hand. What was most enjoyable and practical was feedback on image choice and sequence, by Calin and Yana as well as the other participants. Workshops like these are a great jump start in the creative process, as well as an opportunity to build comradery with artists internationally."

– Chris

"Since I've known dienacht publications for a long time and had very positive feedback about their workshops, I recently took part in it during the La Nuu Festival in Spain. I wanted to make a dummy from a project I've working on for several years. Calin and Yana’s advice was really helpful to me, and I particularly appreciated their view. These 4 days in Rubí were intense and very productive. I loved thinking about the layout, choosing paper, sewing, gluing, and making a very personalized book. Making a dummy with Calin and Yana was an incredible experience, and I've already recommended their workshops to many friends!

– Caroline

"It has been very enriching to see how a few different photo works from 5 photographers turn each into an original and personal dummy book. In four days you can experience the whole process of how a collection of prints becomes a very singular and personalised dummy book.
It is not only the experience of your own work, but also the opportunity to see other people's works and the creative process of each other."

– Miquel

"My way of thinking about images is strongly linked to the idea of a narration. Novels or fiction are an important influence in my photography. I wanted to experiment with the creation of a dummy, to explore further this question of narrating, to consider the editing of images in this context. I have followed dienacht publishing for several years now and appreciate a lot their work. I heard very good feedback about their workshops. I saw the workshop announced in Barcelona, and I joined! And I’m so happy with that choice. It was very helpful to get advice from Yana and Calin about editing, creating pairings, rhythm, and even about choosing the paper whose sound suits the story. Seeing the dummies developed by other participants was very exciting, too. This workshop was also the opportunity of enriching meetings with other artists and the occasion to discover an amazing festival I hadn’t heard of before.”


Join us next time for dienacht Publishing photobook workshop:

Also in workshop

Photobook making Workshop that ended up in the bedroom.

In October 2022 we held a photozine workshop in Yerevan. It was the first event of the kind in Armenia as far as we know.

The series of online Photography and Photobook Workshops for Armenian photographers in 2020 - 2021.