Page 64

Ingrid Newton

Strange Country

M

ost of us have a collection of family photo-

ning after all these years. The old black and white

graphs of some sort, whether it is a beauti-

snaps were then digitally superimposed onto the new,

fully bound leather album, a stack of enve-

the joins left visible creating the effect of two worlds

lopes stuffed into a drawer or digital images stored on

separated by the years.

a computer. Our family albums are the repository of

Memories of my early childhood days are sporadic

our old selves, tangible proof of who we once were,

and hard to pin down. I had hoped that by revisiting

more substantial than fleeting memories. Yet as we

the old locations my memories would suddenly come

age, childhood photographs of ourselves take on a

flooding back to me. They proved to be maddeningly

mysterious quality. I look at myself in these pictures

elusive. I have to admit that, as Barthes* pointed out

and wonder about this tiny creature, an only child

when looking at an old picture of himself, rather than

often flanked by adults, gazing seriously out at the

resurrecting the past, the photograph only attests to

camera. It is me, and yet seems to have no connection

what has existed. The photographs have become the

with my present self.

memories, imprinted on my brain with repeated loo-

As an adult, seeing the world through a child’s eye is

king and the retelling of family stories. The memories

difficult. These images of my old childhood haunts, ta-

themselves are locked away.

ken with my little plastic Holga camera with its blurry and brightly coloured eye, recreate the dreamlike and slightly disconnected feeling I experienced on retur-

64

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Square Magazine issue 3.1 GB-GER  

Issue 3.1 in English and German, featuring Susan Burnstine, Amélie Chassary & Lucie Belarbi, Justyna Ptak Polixeni, Papapetrou, Andrés Gálve...

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