The Civil Contract of Photography

I am reading this and it is difficult but also rewarding. I am reading it because I am photographing other TRAs, creating portraits and having discussions about the experience of transracially adoptive/fostered lives.  I am not investigating tracing or tales of reunion with the unnerving prospect of Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell hoving into sight and engineering tearful reunions.  I’m after what the lived experience of being in a world that cannot recognise you as part of what you know to be your family without verbal and written explanations. Azoulay focusses on citizenship, the implication of equality that this term …

The Thin Black Line and the Broad White One.

I went to a talk between Lubaina Himid and Paul Goodwin at the Whitechapel Gallery last week.  They discussed three exhibitions she had worked with in the 1980s: Five Black Women at the Africa Centre (1983), Black Women Time Now at Battersea Arts Centre (1983-4) and The Thin Black Line at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1985).  It was illuminating and more than a little  depressing.   One thing that got wedged in my head was how the exhibition at the ICA, deeply symbolic in a conduit between the big art stuff (ironically very small artworks by Richard Tuttle) and the …

An attempt at writing undermined by the inability to things into words

Writing is hard sometimes.  I have been wedged in a corner, a tight corner, since the end of my study at OSE unable to garner words into sensible order although my head is popping and fizzing with ideas that melt away as soon as I go anywhere near any kind of word receptacle.  At work, I’m trying to write a report/proposal that will make everybody’s life easier especially mine, but a week, a bloody week, has gone past and it is still a stuttering mess of nothing much.   So I am giving up on ideas and writing about something I …

A travellers tale

I am not sure how many times I crossed the various borders in and out of Slovakia but most of the time it seemed to have been in the winter. What I do remember is the border guards attempting to destroy my old school British Passport twisting it hin and yonder in an attempt to make my real gypsy one fall out from its place of concealment. They never did because like many gypsy things, it was of course enchanted. Central Europe inhabits a kind of fairy story hinterland in my head. A place of great forests, stony peaks, castles …