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Documenting madness: Female patients of the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum

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Among the early pioneers of photography in the 1800s was a middle-aged English doctor called Hugh Welch Diamond, who believed photography could be used in the diagnosis and treatment of the mentally ill. Diamond first established his medical career with a private practice in Soho, London, before specializing in psychiatry and becoming Resident Superintendent of the Female Department at the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum in 1848—a position he held until 1858. Diamond was an early adopter of photography, taking his first portraits just three months after Henry Fox Talbot licensed his “salt print” process for producing “photogenic drawings.” As a follower of “physiognomics”—a popular science based on the theory that disease (and character) could be discerned from an individual’s features or physiognomy—Diamond believed photography could be used as a curative therapy.

In documenting madness, Diamond was following on from his predecessor at Surrey County, Sir Alexander Morison who had produced a book of illustrations by various artists depicting patients at the asylum called The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases in 1838. Diamond believed the book was not scientific as the drawings were mainly illustrative interpretations of what the artist saw and could therefore veer towards caricature. He believed that the camera was the only way in which doctors could document illness without taint of prejudice:

The Metaphysician and Moralist, the Physician and Physiologist will approach such an inquiry with their peculiar views, definitions and classifications—The Photographer needs in many cases no aid from any language of his own, but prefers to listen, with the picture before him, to the silent but telling language of nature.

Between 1848-58, Diamond photographed the women patients at Surrey County, taking their portraits against a curtained wall or canvas screen. He became convinced he was able to diagnose a patient’s mental illness from their photographic portrait and then use the image as a therapeutic cure to sanity—the idea being the patient would be able to recognize the sickness in their features. As evidence of this, he cited his success with one patient who he had used the process on:

Her subsequent amusement in seeing the portraits and her frequent conversation about them was the first decided step in her gradual improvement, and about four months ago she was discharged perfectly cured, and laughed heartily at her former imaginations…

Convinced he had found a possible cure to mental illness, Diamond presented a paper “On the Application of Photography to the Physiognomic and Mental Phenomena of Insanity” to the Royal Society of Medicine in May 1856, in which he explained his theories. While many scientists and doctors saw the merit in Diamond’s propositions, they were eventually dismissed as “pseudo-science,” “snake oil” and “quackery.” However, the belief in physiognomy as a form of scientific empiricism was developed by police detective, biometrics researcher and inventor of the mugshot, Alphonse Bertillon, who devised a system of anthropometry for classifying criminals. This was later dropped in favor of fingerprinting and later DNA.

Diamond’s ideas on the diagnostic and curative nature of photography have long been discredited, however, he is now best remembered as a pioneer of psychiatric photography.

During his time at Surrey County, Diamond was able to document most of the female patients as the asylum was a public institution, which meant the patients had no rights to privacy. It’s interesting to note that when he left Surrey for a privately run asylum in Twickenham, Diamond was not permitted to take patients’ portraits. The following is a selection of Diamond’s portraits of the patients at Surrey County Asylum, more can be seen here. Alas, I was unable to find details to the identities of the sitters or their illnesses.
 
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More portraits after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Relics of Russia’s near future: When progress comes to an end
06.08.2015
06:07 am

Topics:
Art
History

Tags:
photography
Cold War
Danila Tkachenko

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Photographer Danila Tkachenko traveled across Russia documenting the abandoned buildings, monuments and military craft of a once imagined utopia. His pictures of these snowbound relics look like possible sets for a Star Wars movie or images for a book by J. G. Ballard—Myths of the Near Future?

The photographs form part of his project Restricted Areas, which examines “the human impulse towards utopia, about our striving for perfection through technological progress.”

Any progress comes to its end earlier or later, what’s interesting for me is to witness what remains after.

Many of the places Danila photographed were until recently kept secret, having never appeared on any maps or public records.

Restricted Areas won Danila top prize at CENTER’s Director’s Choice Award earlier this year. See more of Danila’s work here.
 
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Airplane – amphibia with vertical take-off VVA14. The USSR built only two of them in 1976, one of which has crashed during transportation.

 
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Former mining town which has been closed and made a bombing trial field. The building on the photo shows the cultural center, one of the objects for bombing.

 
More of Danila Tkachenko’s photos of Russia’s forgotten future, after the jump….
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Garbage Pail Kids: Where are they now?
06.08.2015
05:58 am

Topics:
Art
Pop Culture

Tags:
photography
Garbage Pail Kids


 
Garbage Pail Kids are evergreen. Invented by cartoon legends Art Spiegelman and Mark Newgarden, the Cabbage Patch Kid parodies developed a cult following as juvenile gross-out art in the 80s. The trading cards are now revered by collectors, the depth and grotesqueness of each “kid” a treasure to enthusiasts. Garbage Pail Kids don’t really need an update, but art director Jake Houvenagle and photographer Brandon Voges collaborated on a modern take that really captures the spirit of the originals. Vosges explained how the project came about:

About a year ago, my friend Jake Houvenagle (a very talented local Art Director and Designer) and I (Brandon Voges, commercial lifestyle photographer at Bruton Stroube Studios) went to lunch to hang out, talk ideas, and drink good beer.  In the middle of our conversation, Jake tells me about this concept he has to shoot Garbage Pail Kids, 30 years later…as real people, in real situations, with backstories of how their lives have played out.  I then proceeded to crap my pants, tell him of his genius and get super excited.

I believe crapping one’s pants is the exact response merited by such a notion!

And how did the “Kids” fare? Welllll… it varies. Adam Bomb survived the nuclear blast, only to live a life of regret, while Clogged Duane turned his mangled lower half into a lucrative drain-snaking business. Armpit Britt works two jobs to support her five kids (but at least she can hold down a job with those pit-locks), and Bony Tony now takes it all off for the ladies. Barfin’ Barbara became a successful private chef and Noah Body became CEO of a pencil company—all in all, a pretty decent collection of adult lives!
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Photographer documents a man’s domestic relationship with his lifelike silicone sex doll
06.05.2015
08:25 am

Topics:
Art
Sex

Tags:
photography
sex doll
real doll


 
The rhesus monkey experiments of Dr. Harry Harlow live in legend as breakthroughs in the study of primate socialization, but there is a tragic (and some argue unethical) edge to his methods. Harlow did a lot of work on isolation, often keeping baby monkeys away from mother and playmates, to see how it affected development. In one experiment, he offered two “dummy mothers” to a baby—one made of wire that produced milk, and one made of soft cloth that didn’t; he found the babies would cling all day to the cloth mother, ignoring the nourishing mother except for feedings.

Sandra Hoyn’s photo series “Jenny’s Soul” shows the same yearning “contact comfort” Harlow discovered in the monkeys. Sort of…

Hoyn’s photographs shows the behind-closed-doors life of a middle-aged man, “Dirk” (a pseudonym), and his “wife” Jenny, a realistic silicone sex doll. Hoyn has attributed an entire personality to Jenny, whom he loves dearly, and says he prefers to his previous marriages (he does not specify if these marriages are with real women or Real Dolls). Oddly enough, Jenny is not maintenance-free. She’s heavy, and must be rolled around in a wheelchair, and she requires bathing and powdering once a week. He describes their relationship thusly:

“Jenny gives me security. I never want to live without her again. I am moved by her words. The purity, serenity and honesty of her speaking.”

Despite Dirk’s apparent diligent care, Jenny’s silicone is degrading—she’s “aging.” Dirk is unfazed though, and completely devoted to caring for her. Though he dreams of taking her out in public, he keeps his marriage a secret, aware that what makes him most happy would leave him totally ostracized.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Beautiful color Autochrome portraits by Alfred Stieglitz 1910-15
06.03.2015
07:58 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
photography
Alfred Stieglitz

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Photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) has been described as “perhaps the most important figure in the history of visual arts in America.” During his fifty year career, Stieglitz produced some 2,500 mounted photographs, of which 1,642 are held by the National Gallery in Washington, DC as significant works of art.

Stieglitz said photography allowed him to “see straight,” a passion through which he divined “a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”

Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1864, Stieglitz was the son of German-Jewish emigrants. His father was a highly successful businessman, who eventually sold his company for a vast profit in 1881 and moved his family back to Germany. Alfred enrolled in school before deciding to study engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin. During his time at the technical college, Alfred bought his first camera and started taking photographs. When his parents returned to America in 1884, he opted to stay on and continue with his newly found interest in photography.

Over the next decade, he quickly established a reputation as a photographer. Stieglitz was fortunate that he came from a wealthy family, as photography was not cheap and was mainly the pastime—or occasionally the profession—of the upper classes. On return to New York in 1891, his father realized Alfred had no intention of abandoning his interest in photography and therefore bought his son a small photographic business to encourage him in making his passion a career. However, Alfred was no businessman—he overpaid his staff and spent a small fortune on new photographic techniques—but the experience proved vital in developing his talent and reputation as a photographer.

Stieglitz also wrote about photography for various photographic magazines and was elected head of the early photographic society the Brotherhood of the Linked Ring—an organization whose main objective was to have photography recognized as an art form. He also joined the Camera Club of New York—a seeding ground for some of America’s greatest photographers. His work with the Camera Club led to a breakdown in his health, however, and by January 1903, Stieglitz had launched his next project—a photographic magazine Camera Work. In its first issue, Stieglitz stated the magazine’s intent that the magazine would only publish photographs that showed:

...evidence of individuality and artistic worth, regardless of school, or contains some exceptional feature of technical merit, or such as exemplifies some treatment worthy of consideration, will find recognition in these pages. Nevertheless, the Pictorial will be the dominating feature of the magazine.

Now with a family (wife Emmy, daughter Katherine “Kitty”) and a magazine to manage, Stieglitz was living well beyond his means. Still, photography remained his all-consuming passion. As part of experiment to prove that photography could be as valid and as artistic as painting, Stieglitz embarked on a series of images that was to define his career—most notably the photo “The Steerage”, which depicted lower deck passengers on a steamer voyaging from New York to Germany. While in Europe during this time, Stieglitz heard of a new color process marketed by the Lumière brothers in France beginning in 1907. The Autochrome Lumière allowed photographers to take color pictures through use of a glass plate coated with microscopic grains of potato starch dyed red-orange, green, and blue-violet that serve as color filters.

Returning to New York, Stieglitz began to take his own Autochrome portraits, starting with his family (daughter Kitty pictured above) and friends.
 
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More of Stieglitz’s Autochromes after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
High schoolers take teacher to his very first rock show—the Stones in ‘78: Here are his photos
05.29.2015
07:07 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
The Rolling Stones
photography


 
Photographer Joseph Szabo is not one of the bigger names in photography, but his work is nonetheless influential. His book Teenage is a collection of photos of students from Malverne High School in Long Island where he taught photography from 1972 to 1999. A beautiful record of 70s and 80s adolescence, Teenage captures students in class, at home and “at play,” sometimes in fairly sexual situations. The anthology contains an introduction by writer/director Cameron Crowe, and I’d say you can see some of Szabo’s eye in Crowe’s film Almost Famous.

The work you see here is actually from Szabo’s lesser known series, Rolling Stones Fans, a document of his first-ever rock concert. If Teenage seems like the sort of thing that would get a teacher in hot water today, know that Szabo got these pictures after students offered him a ticket (and themselves as subjects) in exchange for a ride. Szabo considers his work a collaboration, with the kids posing and mugging for the camera, so the “staged spontaneity” is a lively theme to his work.

This was from The Stones’ ‘78 tour, promoting Some Girls
 

 

 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Girlfriend’: Austere portraiture of spectacular 90s drag queens
05.25.2015
12:59 pm

Topics:
Queer

Tags:
photography
drag queens
Michael James O'Brien


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Photographer Michael James O’Brien‘s Girlfriend exhibition—now showing at Liverpool’s international photography festival—is an absolutely captivating array of vintage 90’s queer aethetics. While his subjects explode with life (and are ostensibly color people), the drag queens featured in his work have been captured in black and white, in front of nothing but a simple back-drop. This stark, austere composition has become his trademark, an artistic strategy to reveal the both the humanity of the queens alongside of their glamour. He’s been recording drag for 30 years, and his work stands out as a subtle look at a sensational art form.

O’Brien’s work was also featured in Girlfriend: Men, Women, and Drag a 1999 book by former New York Times Magazine style editor Holly Brubach. O’Brien actually took pictures of drag all over the world for the project, and though some are street photography and/or in color, the stark staging of the pictures obviously bear his sensibilities.
 

Butch Queens in Chanel
 

Ming Vauze
 

Billy Beyond and Sister Dimension
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Beautiful portraiture of the very first brain surgery patients
05.20.2015
05:52 am

Topics:
History

Tags:
photography
Dr. Harvey Cushing
surgery


 
Dubbed the “father of modern neurosurgery,” Dr. Harvey Cushing had a brilliant medical career. In 1901 he discovered what was later called the Cushing reflex—basically, what happens to your body when the brain is squeezed (That sounds way less science-y than it actually is, I swear). From there he continued to pioneer new ways of diagnosing brain tumors through X-rays, which produced new surgical techniques that drastically improved patients’ chances at survival from previously deadly conditions. Cushing also left a collection of about 500 preserved brains and nearly 10,000 patient photographs for posterity. In 2010—after sitting in a Yale dorm basement for more than 30 years—the brains were transferred to a museum, but it’s only recently that the pictures have been made available to the public.

The full series, titled “Cushing Tumor Registry,” covers Cushing’s patients from 1900 to 1933, and honestly if you had told me these were taken by Richard Avedon or Irving Penn, I wouldn’t have questioned it. The saturated, intense portraiture is stunning, whether focused on a pretty face or a brutal scar. Despite the medical nature of the photography, nothing in this cross-section elicits a shudder. Even the photo of the disembodied brain just looks like a still life.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘This is not Jacquie anymore’: Son documents mother’s heartbreaking descent into dementia

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These moving photographs document one woman’s gradual deterioration into early onset dementia. They were taken by Jake Heath from Sydney, Australia, who photographed his mother Jacquie during the course of her illness.

The first photograph (above) was “taken in 2005 or so. At this point, Jacquie had Pick’s Disease, but it had been misdiagnosed as menopause. She would be about 48 here.”

Pick’s Disease is a type of Frontotemporal Dementia that causes progressive destruction of nerve cells in the brain. It is a rare disease and its symptoms include dementia and loss of language. Sufferers usually die within two to ten years.

Jake and his sister Zoe were living in Australia when they first heard the news about their mother. Their parents were living in Toronto, Canada, when his father Tim told Jake and Zoe the heartbreaking news that their mother Jacquie was going to die—as Jake told the Daily Mirror:

“At the time I didn’t believe it. Zoe cried, but mum reassured her that it was ok and ‘all part of God’s plan’. Since then it’s been entirely surreal.

“The thing with Pick’s disease is that it has some very obvious stages. It’s always the stages that get to me the hardest, whether it’s paranoia, or forgetting names, forgetting how to eat, etc. Her condition is now the worst it’s ever been. Six weeks ago she stopped walking, whereas previously she would spend all day hobbling around the living room. She also stopped being able to eat solid foods and is now on pureed. It’s like she has aged backwards.

“Life for the family now is surprisingly not that bad. Dad is a 24/7 carer for her, but he also has a lot of help from the government.

“I go down to Batemans Bay (where my parents live) to visit every six weeks or so. I think Zoe finds it harder, being a new mother and not having her own to guide her. Dad is a very strong and resilient man. His day-to-day is looking after her, but he has mentioned a few times to me that as long as he keeps his attitude in check he’s OK. And that attitude is one of doing what’s best, being easy on yourself, and just getting on with it.”

Jake’s father Tim explained what it has been like looking after his wife:

“The journey I’m on at the moment, it’s the long goodbye. It’s been happening since 2007, so for seven years she’s been slowly losing function and capability. I haven’t had a conversation with her in years where she’s actually said anything that’s made sense.

“When you’ve been doing it for this long you’d sort of rather it would have been something quick, like a car accident or something. At least it’s quick and you can move on.”

According to the World Health Organization, 47.7 million people globally are affected by dementia—there are 7.7 million new cases every year with just over half (58%) living in low to middle income households.  Around 10% of people develop the disease at some point in their lives. The estimated proportion of the general population aged 60 and over with dementia at a given time is between five to eight per 100 people.

The total number of people with dementia is projected to be 75.6 million in 2030. It is believed this figure will almost triple by 2050 to 135.5 million.

My father, who died last month, suffered Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is believed he had suffered from the disease for several years before diagnosis. During his last year—from February 2013 onwards—his deterioration became very rapid and his behavior and mood swings increasingly erratic, unpredictable and violent. During his last months, he was admitted to a care home as we were no longer able to give him the attention he required. Most of the time he slept at the care home, when awake he was often irate and confused. He eventually fell into a coma and died from pneumonia.

Jake posted his photographs on Imgur under the heading “This is what Early Onset Dementia looks like.” This is what dementia looks like—the slow, horrendous eating away of a loved one until just the husk is left.

Though heartbreaking, Jake believes there is one good thing to have come out of this terrible disease:

“The silver-lining of this illness is that it has brought us closer together as a family, and it has given us a chance to love Jacquie the way she loved us.”

 
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On the beach, around 2010. Lots of Jacquie around. She can’t remember too much though.

 
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2010 again. Riding on the back of dad’s motorbike was one of her favourite things to do. She got quite terrified when the helmets were on, but once moving had a blast. This had to stop in 2011, when an on-bike paranoia attack nearly caused an accident.

 
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Beach-time walks. Weight is falling off. Conversation is non-existent.

 
More of Jake’s photos and his film ‘This is not Jacquie anymore,’ after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Radical queer photographer documents S & M culture in ‘family photos’
04.30.2015
01:28 pm

Topics:
Queer

Tags:
photography
sadomasochism


 
Photographer Kevin Warth does queer family photography… sort of. His work is actually a re-imagining of the family within the BDSM scene. I sense a tongue-in-cheek diss to the bourgeois gay politics of the day—if you’re not looking to adopt or get married, does the mainstream LGBTQ movement really offer you anything?

From his artist’s statement:

In the series “Boy and his SIR: BDSM and the Queer Family”, I photograph constructed realities in which BDSM practices coexist with domestic and familial rituals. This body of work stems from my disidentification with moderate gay politics, which primarily concerns itself with the legalization of gay marriage and adoption. In response, I question if this normative family structure is a desirable goal for queer relations, or if other modes of kinship are more suitable.

Okay, so that’s pretty thick with post-structural academic influence for a series with ball-gags, Saran wrap and a K-Mart photo studio tableaux, but I think there’s a sense of humor here I really like! Plus, in this era of 50 shades of fan fiction, it’s really refreshing to see some average faces and bodies being kinky in a domestic setting.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Via Juxtapoz

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Hoarders: Photographer recreates grim scenes from his childhood
04.24.2015
06:15 am

Topics:
Art

Tags:
photography
hoarders


 
The hoarders I’ve seen on reality TV tend to be isolated and lonely. Often the shame of hoarding fosters seclusion, and/or the environment their disorder has produced alienates and repels friends and loved ones. I’ve never seen a hoarder living with children, presumably because a lucid parent (most hoarders appear to have some level of self-awareness about what they’re doing), would know that a filthy home is a health hazard. Hoarder parents would have to be more secretive for fear of losing their children, though tragically this would leave them less likely to reach out for help, preserving the conditions of an afflicted family. Photographer Geoff Johnson and his sister grew up in hoarder’s house, and his series, “Behind the Door” tells the story eloquently:

Behind the Door explores the daily life of living with a parent who is a hoarder from a child’s perspective. This work is a personal reflection from Geoff and his sister’s life growing up.

Geoff recreated images displaying how stuff not only consumed his childhood home, but deteriorated conditions for daily living, ultimately shaping who he would become.

Johnson actually went back to his childhood home to stage the scenes—the first time he’d been in the house since he moved out in 1995. The photos are immediately tragic, but there is an anxiety too, as you try to imagine little feet navigating such irregular and unstable terrain.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The gorgeous vintage S&M of trailblazing pornographer Jacques Biederer
04.13.2015
07:09 am

Topics:
Sex

Tags:
photography
sadomasochism
Jacques Biederer


 
Czech photographer Jacques Biederer began his Parisian career in 1913 with G-rated portraiture, but soon moved on to more prurient subject matter—though this was still fairly “conventional” sexy materials for the day—ladies in their underwear, really. Then Biederer went through a period of full-on classical nudes, sometimes with couples, sometimes shot “on location,” outdoors or on a carefully arranged set. Then he got into fetish photography—whips, domination, corseting, pony play—pretty scandalous stuff, but always shot with an artistic eye. Biederer was a forerunner of someone like Irving Klaw in the US.

Biederer’s work—whether a smiling ingenue or a dominatrix always valued composition, the emotions of his subjects, and sexuality—rather than simple sex mechanics. Even if it ain’t your bag, the photos are lovely and weird—they have a sense of humor about them they and aren’t misogynist or pretentious. His dames were often the doms, whipping their male slaves, but sometimes it was the other way around.These are some of the more “safe for work” pictures, but you can see (slightly) more explicit stuff here, though he never did anything “hardcore.” He also made some giggly stag films, but again, we’re talking a lot of cutesy, sapphic slap and tickle (literally, dude was apparently way into spanking).

When France was occupied by the Nazis, Biederer who was Jewish was sent to Auschwitz where he died.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Hell awaits, but a decade’s worth of Slayer fans are surprisingly beautiful
04.10.2015
06:30 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
photography
Slayer


 
Photographer Sanna Charles has been capturing the wild joy of Slayer fans since 2003, and her new book, God Listens to Slayer, has such an enthusiastic, youthful feel about it—which is not as as counterintuitive as it may seem. For any other band of nearly 35 years, this would be a late start. For Slayer however, there is always a fresh crop of teens reconstituting their fanbase with fresh, pubescent faces. Sanna describes her first time watching the fans explode at a show:

The show had been put back by three hours, it was baking hot, and they were now playing in a smaller tent instead of an outdoor stage. The tent was rammed and people were in there waiting for pretty much three hours solid. That buildup, and then watching them play, was amazing. The other photographers left the pit after three songs but I just stayed because I was so mesmerized by the crowd.

The pure release of anger and aggression by the fans felt so free. Everyone was packed into the tent, kind of like kittens in a pet shop trying to get out. Afterward I got about three portraits of people leaving, just as an afterthought, but when I got them back I really fell in love with one of the photos.

Sanna’s photos are more than sympathetic to her subjects; they’re celebratory, with an eye for the evergreen, joyous revelry that is a Slayer show. At the same time, describing them as “kittens” feels about right—no amount of pentagrams can hide those cherub cheeks.
 

 

 
More Slayer fans after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
See where 30,000 bombs fell during the London Blitz, 1940-41

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In September 1940, the German Luftwaffe unleashed a strategic bombing campaign that targeted all of the major cities across the UK. Over 30,000 tons of high explosives were dropped on sixteen cities during a relentless over 267-day campaign, or “Blitzkrieg” (German for “lightening war”), that claimed over 40,000 civilian lives—half them in London alone—wounded over 100,000 and destroyed more than a million homes. It was an event that changed the nature of the war, and brought repercussions for Germany.

My mother was a child during the Second World War, living with her parents and sister in a tenement in the north-west of Glasgow. She can still clearly recall the regular sound of the siren warning of another German bombing raid. People decamped to the bomb shelters situated in the back gardens, where my mother listened to the whistle and blast of the bombs, land mines and other incendiaries raining down from the planes above.

In March 1941, she was briefly evacuated to a cottage in Milport on the isle of Great Cumbrae, off the west coast of Scotland. During this time, the Luftwaffe carried out two bombing raids on Clydebank—that have been described as “the most cataclysmic event” in war-time Scotland. My mother recalled how the German planes seemed to fly so low she felt she could touch them, while the flames from the raid lit up the sky like it was day.
 
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Clydebank, near Glasgow, after the ‘blitz’ of March 1941.
 
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Devastation in the south of London—a bus lies in the rubble of a bomb crater.
 
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Central Coventry after a bombing raid November 1940.
 
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Sleeping in the shelter of London’s Underground station at Elephant and Castle, November 1940.
 
More photos plus link to the interactive Blitz site, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Queer, boho or just plain gorgeous: Photographer captures the beauty of counterculture youth
04.02.2015
05:47 am

Topics:
Art
Queer

Tags:
photography
youth
millennials
counter-culture


 
Like every generation before them, millennials endure the scorn of their amnestic elders with obliviousness and eyerolls. I’ll concede that bitterly railing about “kids these days” is the prerogative of anyone over 45 forced to listen to Miley Cyrus, but I truly think intergenerational amity is a worthy and plausible goal—and I’d advise all those baffled by millennial bullshit to start by looking at the margins of youth culture, rather than their commercial representatives, who are obviously appointed by old millionaires anyway. 

Photographer Poem Baker‘s captivating series,Hymns from the Bedroom, shows a gorgeous array of young people—some bending gender, some subverting conventions, some simply looking beautiful. Her subjects are her friends, and she captures them with a vulnerability that reveals the intimacy of the shoot—an informal affair where she might snap only a few unpretentious candids before putting away the camera. From her site:

Hymns from the Bedroom is a personal journal of friends and people I’ve encountered whilst wandering around London. Most of whom are creative twenty-something’s on the threshold of their dreams and ambitions, ranging from performance artists, musicians, actors and fashion designers to strippers, transvestites and those who live on the fringes of society.

 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
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