Friday, 6 September 2013

Picture Book

When I visited Margate I had the privilege of rifling through my Great Aunt's old photos. She didn't have a scanner so these pictures exist at sea sick angles. My childhood photo albums are what got me real obsessed with pictures. So I have a weakness for family albums, whether they're my own, or a total strangers. I even went through a phase of buying discarded family photos in bulk from stalls. The first one I got was of a soldier in World War Two, bought for a pound in Spitalfields at seventeen. I stuck it on my wall and fell in love. It was such a find and I took great pleasure in showing it to people and being all 'can you believe I got this for so cheap? Isn't it so lovely, so perfect! And it's mine' Until my Granddad overheard and explained that photo album photos like that get put on stalls when people die. When people die and they've got no family and friends so the pictures get trashed. Like with the family albums after the Lisbon sisters died. Then I was certain it was my life's mission (my calling) to save these people, like if I blue tacked their faces to my teenage walls it would make it ok that they died alone and no one in the world wanted to keep their faces. I wrote stories about them too. They're folded up in paperbacks in my rooms somewhere. But which book was it? I have no idea. Maybe that's lost too.

Even though this is technically a 'family album' I have no idea who half these people are and I'm pretty sure I'm only related to like 30% of them. My Great Aunt's husband is Afro-turk which isn't 100% the same ethnicity as me. But there's still Africa and Asia and the Middle East and...stuff. I find myself photographing these images, vintage photos of brown girls in headscarves and black girls with afros over images of my own family, my Mum's family, my white family. You see, I don't actually own a photo of my own Daddy. I don't mind though. Not a lot. Maybe a little bit.

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