Saturday, 5 November 2016

A PHOTOGRAPHER REMEMBERS

And considers what gets remembered

Stuart Franklin, former President of Magnum Photos, has published a book called The Documentary Impulse, that examines humans' drive to document the world. 

Interviewed recently about his career he has reflected –
I remember doing a story for the Sunday Times Magazine on the Pető Institute, which is an institute that helps children who suffer from cerebral palsy. I remember being in a café and a lot of people would come over from England, where these children were often treated as 'vegetables”' and there at the institute they were helped to gain some mobility. Seeing this mother’s face when her young child walked for the first time was incredibly moving. I find it very difficult to talk about it, even to my students, without kind of cracking up somehow.
I think it’s these little moments of joy that are perhaps more resonant than tragedy, which in a sense one tries to blot out… dead babies or things that you can do nothing about – people who are going to die. But the moments of extreme hope and joy I think are very memorable. 
He was referring to the influential article by Rose Shepherd. I quote his remark on what is remembered because I suspect that it may some  trust, I am not sure what, that merits sharing.

References

Clifford, L. (2016) Stuart Franklin interview: The Documentary Impulse, Amateur Photographer, 30 October

Franklin, S. (2016) [Magnum: search results for peto], accessed 5 November
Some of the photos that Stuart Franklyn took at the PAI in 1987

Franklyn, S. (2015), London, Phaidon

Shepherd, R. (1987) Walking against the odds: crippled British children find new hope in Budapest, Sunday Times Magazine, 18 October
This article is not on line but you can see the complete text as a PDF attached to Norman Perrin's blog (unfortunately without the pictures)

Sutton, A. (2014) Fight the good fight: Angie Smith aet. 52, Conductive World, 13 August
http://www.conductive-world.info/2014/08/still-fighting-good-fight.html


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