Kirsten Johnson’s collage memoir, Cameraperson, is a gorgeous, restrained look at a woman’s mission to capture the world at all angles. It’s a ticket to realms we may never visit ourselves, photographed with Johnson’s tinkling, gentle curiosity and empathy. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the work of the person behind the camera, composing and fretting, making sure every shot is aesthetically sensible. And it’s a look at Johnson herself, as mother and daughter, as journalist and humanist.
As I was sick when I wrote this review, I’ll just say that my favourite segments were Johnson’s visits to Bosnia for their delicacy in confronting terrible atrocity, and the heartbreaking moments at the Nigerian hospital, which forces you to sit helplessly as a nurse tries to save a newborn baby. The way she edits everything together, with different segments offering subtle commentary on others, is also fantastic.