Monday, November 28, 2011

A Head Start on History

As I walked around Christchurch's Cathedral Square yesterday, I thought about how I was watching history unfold before me. I've thought about that a lot in the last fifteen months since the first earthquake struck the city in September 2010. I've fretted some days, about the vast swathes of the inner city that I have never photographed - gone now, just little pockets of remembering buried under a pile of already-forgotten buildings. But where to begin? Is it even possible to catalogue a whole city in crisis?
I could give up but most days I feel compelled to record some of what is happening to the changing face of Christchurch. Who knows where my thousands of photos will end up? Maybe they'll be discarded after I've gone, maybe they'll be stuffed away somewhere, like millions of other images of this broken place. It matters not ultimately. For now I am happy trying to make sense of it all via a camera lens. And some days, like today, I like to get a head start on history, giving some of my images 'the gloss of age' ahead of their time.

"History never looks like history when you're living through it. It always looks confusing and messy, and it always feels uncomfortable." John W Gardner. " No Easy Victories."

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