A photograph is a certificate of existence that is no longer fixed, our images now held in clouds which can disperse as quickly as they form, the evidence of our presence in the world, which seems more ‘instant’ and urgent, evermore precarious. It is airborne, unseen or unknown, like magic or religion; spectres or apparitions that suggest that we are here….somewhere.
"But when from the long distant past nothing subsists, after people are dead, after things are broken and scattered, taste and smell alone, more fragile but more enduring, more immaterial, more persistent, more enduring, remain poised a long time, like souls, remembering, hoping, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unflinchingly, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of their recollection."
Swann’s Way Marcel Proust
When Itaru Sasaki lost his cousin in 2010, he decided to build a glass-panelled phone booth in his hilltop garden with a disconnected rotary phone inside for communicating with his lost relative, to help him deal with his grief.
Only a year later, Japan faced the horrors of a triple disaster: an earthquake followed by a tsunami, which caused a nuclear meltdown. Sasaki’s coastal hometown of Otsuchi was hit with 30-foot waves. Ten percent of the town died in the flood.
Sasaki opened his kaze no denwa or “wind phone” to the now huge number of people in the community mourning the loss of loved ones. Eventually word spread and others experiencing grief made the pilgrimage from around the country. It is believed that 10,000 visitors journeyed to this hilltop outside Otsuchi within three years of the disaster.
You cannot write poems about trees if the forest is full of policemen - Brecht
The code to indicate the emergency evacuation of American personnel from Saigon in South Vietnam 1975 was a radio message: ‘The temperature is 105 and rising’, followed by Bing Crosby’s ‘I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas’
How to get the world on the page still wet
It took 8 hours to burn a million dollars