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Which clippings match 'Social Documentary' keyword pg.1 of 1
23 AUGUST 2010

Pioneering colour photography showing everyday Russian life

"Three young women offer berries to visitors to their izba, a traditional wooden house, in a rural area along the Sheksna River, near the town of Kirillov."

(Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA)

[The photograph was created by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin–Gorskii in 1909 as part of his survey of the Russian Empire. The image was created using an early 3–colour technique and was commissioned by Tsar Nicholas II.]

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TAGS

1909 • 3-colour • berries • clothingcolour • colour photography • colour processdesign formalismdevicedocumentary photographyempiregirlsinnovation • izba • Kirillov • lantern • Library of CongresspeasantphotographypioneeringportraitruralRussia • Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii • Sheksna River • social documentarysocial realitysocietyspectacletechniqueTsar Nicholas IIvisual depiction • Volga-Baltic Waterway • wooden house

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
26 JULY 2009

Jimmy Forsyth: Photographer who chronicled vanishing community life in the UK north-east

"The Tyneside amateur photographer Jimmy Forsyth, who has died aged 95, produced an acclaimed portrait of industrial working–class life in Britain.
...
in the early 1950s he heard rumours of plans to demolish Elswick and Scotswood Road. A whole way of life was under threat, and Jimmy imagined that he could capture the spirit of the community through photography. Thus he began in 1954, with a second–hand box camera and no formal training, his epic project to produce a portrait of the area by a trusted insider.

Mindful of posterity, he took a systematic approach – his images are indexed and his subjects carefully identified. Crucially, the task also saved Jimmy from unemployment. He assembled the prints, processed by Boots or a local chemist, in tartan–covered albums, and including the price of the films, his photography probably consumed a considerable part of his £2–a–week National Assistance money. Often he would sell people their prints for half a crown to fund the next roll of film. In an effort to improve his finances, Jimmy opened a shop in 1956 in Pine Street, but his generosity in providing goods 'on tick' soon forced him to sell up.

When the bulldozers eventually came to Elswick in the late 1950s, they inspired a period of intense activity for Jimmy, who stayed until the last moment to document the painful process of demolition. He even photographed the demolition men and the families left behind, until, he said, there was a knock at 356 Scotswood Road, where he was living: 'You'd better move out. We're doing this block next.'"
(The Guardian, 16 July 2009)

[Jimmy Forsyth, 1957. Scotswood Teddy Boys]

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CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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