By Clifton Meador
Chicago: Clifton Meador, 2018. [Edition of 40.]
6 x 9"; 40 pages. Printed in two-color offset on black paper by Brad Freeman and Clifton Meador at the Center for Book, Paper, and Print at Columbia College Chicago. Hard bound with cloth spine.
Clifton Meador: "Long before it became part of Canada, Newfoundland was a European fishing colony. Basque fishermen spent summers in Labrador and Newfoundland fishing and drying cod during the fifteenth century. They might even have been there during the fourteenth century and simply kept quiet about it.
"At some point, the incredible richness of the cod fishery in the Grand Banks convinced people to build permanent settlements on shore and to overwinter in Newfoundland. These remote fishing settlements became known as outports and were the source of much of the distinctive character of Newfoundland culture. Glenn Gould created a series of experimental radio pieces for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in the late 1960s; one piece, called 'The Latecomers,' deals with the nature of life in an isolated outport in Newfoundland.
"Since the 1950s the provincial government in Newfoundland has pursued a policy of resettlement for these remote villages. Nearly all of these villages are hours by boat from any road, and yet they have schools, medical care, power, and sewage infrastructure supplied by the provincial government. Given that most of these places have had declining populations for decades, and given the total collapse of the cod fishery in the 1990s, it is no longer possible to support these remote villages.
"Francois (spelled without a cedilla, and pronounced France-way) is a beautiful village on the south coast of Newfoundland, located in a spectacular fjord a six-hour ferry ride from the closest road. A reflection on the end of this way of life, Outport Nights is a book of photographs of Francois, taken at night. This book comes in two versions: the first will be a self-covered wire-stitched version for insertion in JAB45, Spring of 2019, and the second is a hand-sewn case- bound version in a small edition of 40 copies."