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Category: Photographers

Wolf Suschitzky – Seven Decades of Photography

Some books grow on you. this is one of them.

I don’t recall where or how I first came across Wolf Suschitzky, but I do like those photographers who have documented life in the UK over the decades and Suschitzky is one such with a career stretching from the 1030’s into the 21st century. This book, Seven Decades of Photography, published in 2014 when Suschitzky was already 102 years old, collects a selection of images from his long career.

Quite apart from his photography the man himself is fascinating. Born in Vienna in 1912 to a Jewish atheist father who ran a bookshop and later a socialist publishing house. Originally wanting to study zoology, Suschitzky ended up studying photography influenced by his sister Edith, herself a photographer. Observing political developments in Austria in the 1930’s he concluded that Vienna was not a good place for a Jewish socialist and moved to London.

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Niall McDiarmid – Town to Town

I don’t read or watch the news any more. Somewhere along the way the news media lost their integrity and reduced the world to an endless cycle of win-lose conflicts between extremists. When I was a kid newspapers printed one edition a day and there were four news bulletins – morning, lunchtime, early evening and late evening. Time and space were limited, valuable, so editors had to think carefully about which stories to cover. Journalists had to make phone calls, talk to people, write up stories – they had to do journalism.

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Kim Soo-nam

In 2015 on a trip to Seoul I visited the National Folk Museum of Korea for a special exhibition of the work of Korean photojournalist and documentary photographer Kim Soo-nam. In the 70’s Kim started photographing traditional shamanic rituals, concerned that the tradition was in decline in rapidly industrialising and modernising Korea. In 1982 he said, It’s for sure that the Dodang-gut (ritual) practiced in the southern Hangang River will disappear in a few years. When the shamans die, it’s the end. I feel lucky to have photographed those who have aged along with their practice for 60 to 70 years.

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