In the Bonesetter’s Waiting Room, The Making of Home and Woman on the Edge of Time. Indian medicine, social history, the brutality of psychiatric hospitals and ecofeminist utopias.
Recently I went to two exhibitions of British social photographers’ work of the 60s and 70s. Daniel Meadows at the Library of Birmingham, and Only in England- Tony Ray Jones and Martin Parr at the Science Museum. All three photographers were contemporaries and friends, working on similar topics of noticing the arresting and unusual in ordinary people in everyday settings. All photographs in this entry are from the photographers’ own websites.
While I was in Birmingham, I visited the Pen Museum. Because I gave a small donation, one of the kind volunteers essentially gave me a personal guided tour.
I’m fascinated by the history of the Cold War. Both the political side, and the social history of people’s everyday lives. I’ve always been extra fascinated by the former DDR, both because I can speak the language and because they tried so hard to be a “model” Iron Curtain society. You read about people being “internal emigrés”. Being a good comrade and worker on the surface, but internally escaping to their own world via drink or just plain daydreaming. I suppose that’s what I’d do in the situation. I have a lot of thoughts on the subject, but I’m currently writing a zine about the trip this summer, so I’ll save them for there.
When I was in Dresden, I bought a photography book by a local photographer. Günter Starke lived in Dresden Neustadt, the area just across the river from the historical centre, in the 70s and 80s, and took a lot of photos. Despite the name, Neustadt is full of old buildings that escaped bombing during the war (it’s only new compared to the baroque city centre), and in the communist days, the local council concentrated on building blocks of flats and housing estates to house families.