On Memories

Friday, 13 June 2014

Today's post is inspired by filmmaker Will Darbyshire's recent and brilliant YouTube video on 'Memories' (click here to watch it!). Now, memory is a funny thing.

 It's 2014 and our brains are saturated with hundreds of digital images on the daily. And social media hardly helps. On Facebook, we're tagged in such a volume of photos it can be hard to separate the meaningful from the mundane. Many, we'd rather forget. Meanwhile, Instagram serves as something of a showreel - or rather, highlights reel - of our lives. These photos, with endless filters, come closer to choreographed constructions than memories of something that has truly happened. 

Maybe it takes something physical - a song, a scent, a printed photograph - to really provoke a memory. Something you can touch, smell, hear. I don't doubt that digital images hold the power to do the same, but to me at least, they merely float - to little effect - in cyberspace. I think it takes a physical attack on the senses to provoke real feeling: from bittersweet nostalgia to nausea. That song you at one point played to death now only haunts.

 Polaroid of picnic                    Polaroid of burgers

I'd encourage you all to gather and treasure not only digital souvenirs, but physical ones. Not only will you be able to embrace (or burn) them at will, but they'll later serve as snapshots of memories. Polaroids do just that: they capture us at our most authentic but least glamourous, with that enormous-red-pimple-on-your-chin-you'd-rather-hide. To me, a momento can only really be physical.

Frankly, I'd rather my grandchildren rummaged through a box of my old polaroids than scoured the Web for my MySpace profile (oh god imagine that?!). Only time will tell of course. In the meantime, I'll be sure to save some memories.                                  

polaroid
Mum takes a roadside power-nap during long drive to Italy. 
Polaroid
Incompetent swimmers, Summer 2012
polaroid
Cheesy. Summer 2012.
polaroid
Just last week at a Hudson Taylor gig, June 2014.
polaroid
Last day of school, May 2013.
polaroid of oxford
The Bodleian Library, Oxford, February 2012.
polaroid
My Italian class back at school, May 2013.



polaroid of bonfire
Bonfire Night, 2013.
Polaroid
Forest with friends, Suffolk, October 2012.

Thanks for bearing with me on this slightly different, less light-hearted post! Feedback, as always, is appreciated and I'd be interested to hear your opinions re: memories being physical/ digital. Until next time.

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