Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why Our Memories Are Instantly Made - and All Too Quickly Forgotten; VIEWPOINT SARA RAGAN on the Rise and Rise of the Digital Photo - but Why Print Means Permanence

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Why Our Memories Are Instantly Made - and All Too Quickly Forgotten; VIEWPOINT SARA RAGAN on the Rise and Rise of the Digital Photo - but Why Print Means Permanence

Article excerpt

TWO incidents have sparked a renewed interest in photos recently.

Firstly, my daughter's homework, she had to write a public speaking address, part of her GCSE English and had chosen the topic, 'selfies'.

It's amazing what I'm learning second time around. Bet you didn't know that the word is probably of Australian origin and was named 'word of the year' by the Oxford Dictionary in 2013.

The second incident happened following the screening of The Restaurant Man on BBC2 last week. Facebook alerts came in thick and fast as friends urged me to tune in to see Russell Norman - the presenter and restaurateur who is fronting the programme.

Did I remember him from Sunderland Poly? Who could forget him - he was a David Byrne wannabe with floppy fringe and suits. He hasn't changed a bit except his suits are now Paul Smith - not Flip (great American retro shop which used to be in Newcastle).

The programme and the Selfie project encouraged me to retrieve the box of old photos from the loft in search of pics from my student days.

It was both horrifying and hilarious in equal measures. Firstly, we looked so grungy even without filters and there were so few of them.

Frantic Facebook correspondence unearthed a few, my loft scavenging found a few more from school and student days but what shocked me was that I hardly had any!

A friend reminded me that photos even 20 years ago (OK, maybe a bit longer) were a relatively expensive commodity and were to be savoured -with only one or two taken at events and nights out. I know a poor workman always blames his tools for a bad job - but my camera was obviously not up to much given the resulting photos and the composition would win no prizes - but at least I have some.

Which led me to think, will my children have photos and prints for posterity as so many of their pics are selfies and random shots taken on their phones? While all three, even the 11-year-old, freely use their phones to take incessant photos of themselves and friends - how many of these images will survive the transfer to a new phone, let alone years after they've left school and uni? …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.