The magic of found films lies in the ability to see first what others people, often long before, saw themselves and wanted to capture on film while preserving memories often lost for a long time; it is the case in this series of negatives, which tell the unfortunately incomplete story of a holiday trip made by an English family (estimate according to the provenance of the negatives) in Northern France in 1921 (the year was clearly shown). Here in addition to the classic pleasure of rediscovering forgotten memories there was also that of reconstruct as much as possible the itinerary of the trip, recognizing places seen in person and browsing between sites and online maps to locate those as close as possible.
The satisfaction was such that raised in myself the idea of making a trip in Northern France that follows these stages, redeeming where possible the same images from the same shooting point (obviously using the same format 6 x 4 .5 mm), documenting how 100 years practically changed the things.
Ultimately, a trip through time.
Another important consideration arose from this experience: it is about storing media and thus of historical memories recorded on them; we all know that the negatives are considered very long life and stability media when stored appropriately, with an expected duration certainly superior to any digital or optical support currently available. However, this applies to newer media (where newer means produced in the last 70 years at least!), while older ones, especially those made by cellulose nitrate, are intended for a purpose that is to become finally in an unremarkable brownish powder. Already now negative of this kind, unless kept in a professional manner (museums), have a significant degree of deterioration of the image which, moreover, is irreversible. Without forgetting the inherent danger of this media type, highly flammable.
The invitation to guard and preserve personal and collective memories is then now stronger than ever, even through the passion for found films and their recovery, because it will always be possible to do a day trip through time!
Finally, here are some of the images chosen between the recovered ones, while a more complete collection of shots with included some references to places as they are currently can be found in this Flickr Album.
In addition to typical vacation places in Northern Franc, the unknown tourists have also captured some typical events of Breton culture, the most interesting is the Festival des filets blues , an event taking place even today; among other things, these shots were allowed to circumscribe the August 1921 the year when images where shot.
PRECEDENTE TO BE CONTINUED….