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A collective memory of growing up

Childhood Memories
ROM / Alongside our large-scale visual culture, Iris Maria Tusa has a rare photography book about Roma people – here we see how childhood shapes us, and later we shape our image of childhood.

This article was translated by Google and R.E.

In the years 1966-68, the American photographer worked Bruce davidson (b. 1933) with a series of photographs of East 100th Street motifs. The work included thousands of negatives and culminated in a book publication by Harvard University Press and an exhibition at MoMa in 1970. Davidson's intention with the project was to meet the people who lived in the city's unfashionable, run-down areas "eye to eye", to document the life of the city – depicting both as a problem and as an opportunity.


In connection with the exhibition in autumn 1970, the curator wrote, John Szarkowski (1925-2007), in the press release about Davidson's heartfelt empathy in the depicted: "Most photographers have approached Americ's visible minorities as though they were exotic quarry to be stalked and captured, or as statistics that might buttress a political position, or as symbols of the majority's guilty. Bruce Davidson has done a more difficult and more valuable thing: he has shown us true and specific people, photographed in those private moments of suspended action in which the complexity and ambiguity of individual lives triumph over abstraction." (1) In the same press release it is stated that Davidson's series is the result of a conscious collaboration between the depicted and the photographer and appears as the antithesis of unconscious documentary photography. We like to understand this by how the depicted appear in a conscious pose, with their gaze. . .

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