Family album

I think the following extract says it all:

Unlike the social historian, the owner of an album does not look for the ‘truth’ of the past. Instead, we give it our own recognition, just as, when we make a picture, we commit our present to be recognised by an unknown future.

Small wonder that  a family album is a treasured possession, nervously approached for its ambiguities, scrutinized for its secrets, poignant in its recall of loves and lovers now dead. It interweaves the trivial and the intense, the moment and the momentous, as it challenges any simple concept of memory.

Family photography does not seek to be understood by all. It is a private medium, its simple imagery enriched by the meanings we bring to it. An ‘outside’ interpretation, an assessment of someone else’s album, moves into a different realm: of social history, ethnology or a history of photography.

Holland, Patricia., Spence, Jo., eds. Family snaps: the meanings of domestic photography (London: Virago, 1991) p.2

An interesting perspective:

My empty family album

With no documents and few photographs, Sarfraz Manzoor knows little about his family’s past. To compensate, he tries to record everything in his own life
Sarfraz Manzoor with his daughter Laila.

Photograph: Graham Turner for the Guardian

“I remember as a teenager being filled with an aching envy at seeing my white friends’ family albums: photographs of grandparents’ wedding days, grandfathers in military uniforms, scenes of parents as small children. My friends took these things for granted but I was acutely aware of the impact of not having such images. I did not, at the time, recognise the irony of my predicament. I was born in Pakistan, a country only 24 years older than I was: Indians had 5,000 years of history to draw on, Pakistanis had fewer than five decades. We, the children of Pakistani immigrants, were doubly adrift – torn from a country that had itself been torn from another country. Faced with the richness of my friends’ histories, I was stung by my own poverty.” Sarfraz Manzoor

Full article accessed here:

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Revised list

1 Handwritten letter

2 Family photo album

These two are the most relevant for me because they really do sum up items that are cherished and record a moment in time. They also have a rich history and would both create a strong visual narrative. I feel that we could create a wonderful shrine with either of these.

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The family photograph album

The more I think about using the family photograph album the more I feel that it has the potential to create an amazing shrine – emotive, poignant, informative and visually compelling. It is definitely dying out – how many of us actually have one – our parents and grandparents are more likely to. We now use Facebook and Instagram to share our images of holidays, celebrations and family get togethers. It also makes a powerful statement about how we use photography today. Poorly taken digital images are usually instantly deleted, with the 35mm camera you never quite knew how your pictures were going to turn out.

I came across this excellent pdf resource – take a look, it contains some great ideas:

BBC Britain's First Photo Album – Celebrating Britain's histor

Image: BBC
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Object suggestions following presentation feedback

I’ve been looking at futurologists predictions and came across this interesting article which is definitely worth a read:

20 Predictions for Life in 100 Years

Here are my suggestions and some resources that I came across:

  1. The family photo album

2.  Money

3. Landline telephone

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Made some change about display



This is my new picture that demonstrated just as Philip’s suggestion that mark out several things;the flowers, the tribute cards, the notes, the images of the objects.



I made another version that perhaps can roughly show the display of our exhibition that I drew it was based on Clare’s suggestion- The objects will be represented by imagery, mementos, etc usually a shrine has the image of the dead person in a photo frame.


thanks for your advises!! :))

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How to display?



This is a script that I draw as how the objects are displayed.

On the top is a title of our project which is a wide-print stick on a plate,and the three objects are showing beneath of it.

Wedding Ring  The Wedding Ringalarm  The Alarm Clock (Mechanical)




Each of the object are covered by a transparently cube which could be glass or acrylic, with a wooden made base and a thin metal plate pin on the wood.


The idea of display is made the objects looks elegant and untouchable just as specimen. However, the object itself can be painted or use different materials to reveal.

What do everybody think? Please give me some advises.

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In Memoriam: the Future Obsolete (100 word summary)

Design is the past, the present and the future, and is integrated into everything that surrounds us. In our lifetime we have experienced once familiar objects become obsolete, rendered replaceable by technological advances and changing values. Should we care when these items are deemed redundant? Do we even notice? We ask: “what next?” as an opportunity to consider the creation of a visual narrative that explores the provenance of the ‘future obsolete’.
Inspired by roadside and celebrity shrines, informed by research and inquiry, we propose to create three disparate memorials to everyday objects that may not exist in a predicted technology-driven future.
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Survey Initial Results

In Memoriam -

‘Future Obsolesce’

I have just sent everyone a copy of the results and findings.

I am very happy that we decided to do a survey because some of the responses that we got were quite contradictory of our original self assumptions of objects that we thought as a collective were going to become ‘Obsolete’.

Some of the findings that were mentioned in the-

Question 1.

Other (Please Specify)…….. answer were really interesting as I personally didn’t think of a

  • Laptop
  • Computer
  • Mobile Phone/ Cell Phone
  • Car

would ever become obsolete. These are objects/things that without fail I use and have access to everyday. The objects/things are constantly getting upgraded and renewed every second, every minute, everyday etc. New models and additions are popping up around us a norm. Past, Present & Future fits into this.

I didn’t want to disclose the final 3 objects/things just yet, as they not finalised.

I am very much excited about the ‘In Memoriam’ concept as it is coming along nicely.


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Spontaneous shrines

Writing down the details for my slide, I encountered a very interesting paper on the spontaneous shrines. It might give us a better idea of what they are and how they came about. Instead of posting it all, I’ll just write the most important fragments:

“In academia, it has become custom to refer to such commemorative sites as “spontaneous shrines,” a term coined by Jack Santino.”

“All spontaneous shrines, whatever the reason of their taking shape, share the public dimension: exceptional deaths of ordinary people in the public domain as well as natural deaths of public people in the confinement of their private domains are “public events.””

“Spontaneous shrines differ from graves in three important respects. First, there are no bodies. Second, the public dimension sets spontaneous shrines and related ritual apart from funeral ritual, which is usually confined to the intimate sphere of friends and relatives. Third, spontaneous shires arise on neutral, public places that are not formally reserves for mourning.”

“Public mourning, of which spontaneous shrines are a contemporary expression, indicates the impact that certain deaths have on society.”






Here is more: 

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Future Obsolescence Survey is now closed.

I tried to wait around for that 100 respondent mark and time was lingering. I’m a the stage where I am collecting the results.

Will keep everyone informed and up to date, and I am in the process of inputing the results into graphs to send to Kasia ASAP.

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