HAND BOOK: The Beginning of Politics
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HAND BOOK: The Beginning of Politics is a visual study of politics and politicians—a detailed look at the gestures and intimate retail maneuvers performed by the many candidates who competed to be president of the United States during the 2020 election cycle.

In every presidential election, the candidates and campaigns will declare their race to be “the most important election of our lifetime.” But in 2020, that declaration rang true. Joe Biden, the Democratic Party nominee, defeated Donald Trump, the Republican incumbent, on November 7th, 2019. On January 6th, 2020, the Capitol building was overrun by a mob of pro-Trump supporters, illustrating a valuable point: Elections have consequences.

The images and reporting in this book don’t tell that story; instead, I’ve tried to document the intimate connection between the candidates and voters. As part of the traveling press pool, I watched as candidates waved, shook and held hands, hugged, embraced, clapped, clapped back, pointed, posed, pushed, and pulled their way through a chaotic Democratic primary and into the general, where the field finally winnowed but the deadly pandemic rendered in-person retail politics impossible.

Photographed in key battleground states, covering 14 different campaigns, the candidates appear bathed in party colors - blue and red lights - or stark black and white, as if they have already been relegated to history. With a focus on gesture, the immediacy is amplified by cropped, close-up views, where these ambitious, immensely powerful people - appointed to negotiate domestic and international conflict - are framed as limp hands or floating heads: men and women, auditioning for the highest office in the land.

Together with original reporting, HAND BOOK attempts to illustrate the historic shape of the race through detail - an existential battle, with dangerous consequences. To capture those tiny, intimate moments that inform the selection process. That win or lose elections. This book is made of those moments. That is the beginning of politics.

~ Jamie-James Medina, 2021

Buy in Store
HAND BOOK: The Beginning of Politics
Role:
Agency:
Client:

HAND BOOK: The Beginning of Politics is a visual study of politics and politicians—a detailed look at the gestures and intimate retail maneuvers performed by the many candidates who competed to be president of the United States during the 2020 election cycle.

In every presidential election, the candidates and campaigns will declare their race to be “the most important election of our lifetime.” But in 2020, that declaration rang true. Joe Biden, the Democratic Party nominee, defeated Donald Trump, the Republican incumbent, on November 7th, 2019. On January 6th, 2020, the Capitol building was overrun by a mob of pro-Trump supporters, illustrating a valuable point: Elections have consequences.

The images and reporting in this book don’t tell that story; instead, I’ve tried to document the intimate connection between the candidates and voters. As part of the traveling press pool, I watched as candidates waved, shook and held hands, hugged, embraced, clapped, clapped back, pointed, posed, pushed, and pulled their way through a chaotic Democratic primary and into the general, where the field finally winnowed but the deadly pandemic rendered in-person retail politics impossible.

Photographed in key battleground states, covering 14 different campaigns, the candidates appear bathed in party colors - blue and red lights - or stark black and white, as if they have already been relegated to history. With a focus on gesture, the immediacy is amplified by cropped, close-up views, where these ambitious, immensely powerful people - appointed to negotiate domestic and international conflict - are framed as limp hands or floating heads: men and women, auditioning for the highest office in the land.

Together with original reporting, HAND BOOK attempts to illustrate the historic shape of the race through detail - an existential battle, with dangerous consequences. To capture those tiny, intimate moments that inform the selection process. That win or lose elections. This book is made of those moments. That is the beginning of politics.

~ Jamie-James Medina, 2021

Buy in Store
HAND BOOK: The Beginning of Politics
Role:
Agency:
Client:

HAND BOOK: The Beginning of Politics is a visual study of politics and politicians—a detailed look at the gestures and intimate retail maneuvers performed by the many candidates who competed to be president of the United States during the 2020 election cycle.

In every presidential election, the candidates and campaigns will declare their race to be “the most important election of our lifetime.” But in 2020, that declaration rang true. Joe Biden, the Democratic Party nominee, defeated Donald Trump, the Republican incumbent, on November 7th, 2019. On January 6th, 2020, the Capitol building was overrun by a mob of pro-Trump supporters, illustrating a valuable point: Elections have consequences.

The images and reporting in this book don’t tell that story; instead, I’ve tried to document the intimate connection between the candidates and voters. As part of the traveling press pool, I watched as candidates waved, shook and held hands, hugged, embraced, clapped, clapped back, pointed, posed, pushed, and pulled their way through a chaotic Democratic primary and into the general, where the field finally winnowed but the deadly pandemic rendered in-person retail politics impossible.

Photographed in key battleground states, covering 14 different campaigns, the candidates appear bathed in party colors - blue and red lights - or stark black and white, as if they have already been relegated to history. With a focus on gesture, the immediacy is amplified by cropped, close-up views, where these ambitious, immensely powerful people - appointed to negotiate domestic and international conflict - are framed as limp hands or floating heads: men and women, auditioning for the highest office in the land.

Together with original reporting, HAND BOOK attempts to illustrate the historic shape of the race through detail - an existential battle, with dangerous consequences. To capture those tiny, intimate moments that inform the selection process. That win or lose elections. This book is made of those moments. That is the beginning of politics.

~ Jamie-James Medina, 2021

Buy in Store