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Vintage Photography Politics


Aperture Priorities Contact Sheet #12

I never believed in black and white. As one of the last generations to grow up with a monochrome television, I can still recall the thrill of getting our first colour unit at home.

Still buys newspapers. Via Genova, Torino.

Plenty of black-and-white programming continued through the 1980s. But, watching sitcoms like All in The Family, with its loaded racial politics, in full colour, felt more real.

I didn’t get my own TV until I was a PhD student in the mid-1990s. By that point, digital cameras had started to appear, but punk friends stood their ground with film for the colour.

An ex-girlfriend became so obsessed with producing retro imagery that she bought used Soviet Zenit cameras and entered vintage photography contests in Austria and Turkey, which she won.

For her, black-and-white shooting wasn’t the past. It was all about imprecise, dreamy colours, recalling an era she never knew as an adult. Digital was soulless and technocratic, like CDs.

Continue reading in this week’s newsletter.

Photograph courtesy of Joel Schalit. All rights reserved.