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The alchemy of the photograph

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This essay explores how an old snapshot of a group of friends perpetuates an idealised version of their childhood. When presented with the photograph during interview sessions, individuals expressed a longing for a racially integrated past. Posed together, seemingly relaxed and genuinely familiar with each other, the group embodied the hopes and dreams of the Civil Rights Movement. The story behind the veneer, however, is much more complicated than a cursory look at the photograph suggests. In reality, the lives of those pictured were only intermittingly joined.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2009

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