Friday, 14 January 2005

The Lost World of Mitchell and Kenyon

The long-lost work of two photographers was recently discovered, having laid unseen for nearly 70 years. Most of the footage comes from the very early 1900s and - unusually - it relates to ordinary working men. In total, 26 hours of film was discovered - including the very first video of Manchester United.

But it's the "secret history" of ordinary working men that is fascinating. Most old film relates to royalty or (at best) the middle classes - but this stuff shows ordinary people going about their business. It made me realise how we have politicised the teaching of History. Kids know more about Archduke Ferdinand than they know about their own grandfathers (my grandfather is named on the Loos Memorial).

The BBC has made a series about the material (Friday at 9pm) and it's soon to be available on DVD.

1 comment:

  1. This is somehow typical of my life and a new year is starting in the same way. I was looking forward to that programme having seen a clip. I thought the photography was amazing it didn't look stitched together as usual. But I forgot about it and so missed it. Instead I was watching that eternal sunshine film. It was quite an unusual idea and a way of telling the story. I liked it in bits. I liked the beginning but was unsure about it as it went on. However I did like the end and this swung it overall. I liked the idea of hope prevailing over experience (even if it wasn't a felt experience but a recorded one) or did I like the idea that people would live for the moment even if the probability was that it would turn sour. I can't remember. I was unsure about watching it as it was a 15 and Catherine is only 13 -embarrassing in bits (for me). But Catherine liked it or so she said.