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Posted on Mar 16, 2009 in Photography, zeitgeist | 1 comment

14th August 1987

It is entirely self-evident that the 14th August 1987 is getting on for nearly 22 years ago. And, it is certainly no great surprise to get pulled up short by the recurring realisation that things that feel like yesterday are actually a quarter of a century ago.

Yesterday, I spent a pleasant hour or so pottering round the second-hand bookshops of Stockbridge, largely sniffing out photography books. I came across a book called “One Day For Life”. It is a charity book produced for a cancer trust made up of photos submitted by the public (and some celebs*) on 14th August 1987.

There are some decent photos in it, but it doesn’t really stand out as a photography book; it does provide an excellent snapshot of that point in time. And this is the striking thing. It is one thing to perceive that time to be drifting into the past, it is quite another to see it looking like the past. To me, 1987 doesn’t feel that long ago. But there it is, in print, looking like a bygone era. Which, of course, it is.

There is probably extra resonance for me. August 1987 was just before I started University. I was 17, skinny and about to leave Edinburgh to live in Glasgow. Here I am today, 39 and, well, fat. Still think I’m 17 but I’d guess I’m kinda quite different to that little scrawn now.

Makes me think that a similar project now might not be a bad idea at all. Anyone up for it?

* Gloria Hunniford & Terry Wogan et al – you get the picture

1 Comment

  1. Hi Scott,
    I have just come across your blog whilst researching for an article on my new blog. I too have just been looking at a copy of the book and thought that your comments were spot on! It is a fascinating book, and a great concept for a photographic project.

    I am going to be running a competition through my site in the next month or so and this book is my inspiration for the theme! I think it would be fascinating to see what documentary photos will come in. It will be run over the course of a month, as it suits the online format better and gives time for people to spread the word. So in that respect should give a view on peoples perspective on their world in that month.

    Anyway I just thought I would respond to your post (even if it is a little late), and you can check back in with the blog in due time to see what has resulted from it.

    Kind Regards

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