Where was I? In her sitting room.
A bin full of old slides, hundreds of them, poured out onto the floor. Slides: a format fixed from a different age. The white heat of technological innovations, now paled to a fuzzy afternoon light. But this is early Spring, 2010. So, check the boxes, tik the aesthetik. All exercised underneath Claw and Ball Dining Table. That’s my past, scene of many countless kitchen evenings, many entertaining.
Anyway, slidesshow a menagerie of scenes from around the world, roughly from the late 1950s, to a spell spent in Singapore in the early 80s. Professor Max Hamilton the photographer. Snap visions from his time spent with the international depression jetset. Hundreds of doctors, predominantly Jewish from around the world – Berkeley, SF, Montreal, Manila. Time spent with the Kleins. I found images of Anti-War Marches in London, 1967 – ‘new recruits arrive’ read the caption. Countless flowers and butterflies. Some of family. Fancy, the Socialist Fellowship ran camping holidays to the Lake District in the early 1960s.
A gorgeous product design, the slide and its accoutrements…
Susceptible to the minutiae of street scene and 1960s university building design, I admit to keeping many of the slides, destined for the bin – simply for not showing recognisable faces or postcard places. Much prefer ladies sweeping the pavement in Bangalore. Or View from our hotel room Montreal, 1972.
I had never realised, a slide present an absolute snapshot of the world as it was taken, much more than a photo. Unsurpassed quality. Clear as day. It’s like I was in the 60s, holding my little handheld slide viewer up to the light, to see things as the taker, the image-maker, did. Many a year ago.
It was all groovy baby. Boots Audio Record Cleaner. Place mats by Harrods. Whiling away the afternoon, glimpsing into another world. Modern but innocent. Snapshots from a different worldview. Sights of a planet before mass tourism left the West. “How the West got lost and where it left us”, maybe. Maybe one day I can digitalise the slides and present some of the choicest here in this weblog. Until then, you’ll just have to dream.