After the film ripping on day one I decided to bring a backup camera just in case. Guess what – I ended up needing her. So now there’s not only my great-grandfathers rangefinder (Voigtländer Vito BL), but also my grandfathers SLR (Zenit-E) with me on my trip to revisit my childhood. How appropriate.
There are many things floating around in my head: The little-known history of my great-grandfather. The responsibility of future generations to remember the past. The responsibility to record family history. The question of why I do remember so little of my childhood, or even in general.
At the workshop we were talking about the emotional side of photography and that the process is as important, as the final images. That you should keep a record of the thoughts and feelings you had while dealing with the project. I find it hard to identify what I’m actually feeling. Maybe I’m way too rational. Maybe I’m not as in tune with that side of me, as I thought.
Combine all these thoughts with time pressure and it’s all very different to my “I-shoot-what-I-find” photo style on trips through the city or nature. But I guess that’s how one grows.
I went to the apartment I lived in during the first couple of years of my tiny existence. Amazingly the inside of the house was faintly familiar. I remembered nothing about the inner courtyard though.
On my way and at the playground nearby I remembered smells and the feel of objects (the big stones you could climb on, the metal tusks of a concrete elephant slide). I must have looked like an idiot touching all the things between playing children.
Finally I walked into a big open area inclosed by a front of huge trees. I remembered a photo I’ve seen in a family photo album (see above). The big chimney is gone and the trees are now so big they cover almost everything else, that could identify the spot.
Writing down my feelings: I see life and I see death. I see depression and I see love. I’m sad. I’m nostalgic. I’m confused. Why did I start this? I have to do this. Why do I share this? Because we are all human. And we all share the same experiences. Experiences that have to be recorded for the future. For when you no longer have a voice. So let’s go out and take photos of the things and people we love.