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👀 Travelling through time
#290 | Seeing the past through a different lens
I could tell you an elaborate story about my lifelong love affair with photography, but that would just be completely untrue. In all honesty, I'm a terrible photographer. I don't even remember to click pictures most of the time. Even the things I've read about photography aren't exactly about photography. Like Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida.
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After reading Barthes’ book, I came across an old article about the book in The Guardian. It referred to photography as a “spectral conjuring of death-in-life,” lending the medium a lot more drama and intensity than I had previously attributed to it. (But then, the entire Barthes book does that too.) Lest I digress too much, like I sometimes tend to, let me introduce you to my Thing already.
Some digging led me to a lovely collection of such spectral conjurings. Retronaut. A collection of restored archive photographs. I particularly love the story of how it came about: one person’s nostalgia for a time they hadn’t ever seen and their realisation that the past didn’t have to appear like an “inferior version of the present”. If you also have a similar impression of the past, Retronaut is a nice reminder of how historically inaccurate your imagination can be.
But what I loved the most was the realisation that, even after a hundred years, some things haven't changed. Like our collective obsession with silly cat and dog content.