Then and now: Check out the interesting story behind this 50-year old photo.


This picture shows the same people and the same car, taken 50 years ago.

Some may perceive an ambiguity in the title of this paper between photography's memory as an "outmoded" technology that has passed its sell-by date and photography's memory as a "aide-memoire" system for the human memory process of remembering.

What we thought photography was, is, and will be remains in flux as it mutates into its digital double (like a sister or brother) whose system operates in a different way and is still in the process of re-definition.

Photography is often associated with memory as a source of failure. Although the issue of what is missing or not visible in photographs reinforces a negative relationship to memory, it also obscures the constructive nature of photographic images as mnemonic devices within culture.

Photography has traditionally served as a time machine and a device for remembering in domestic culture. What if this space (or others like it) is threatened, in part because digital databases and artefact-based archives have different levels of permanence, openness, and accessibility?

If this is true, it raises the question of what photography has done for memory and what contribution photography has made to human memory practice. Has photography altered or changed the makeup of individual or collective memory, and if so, how? What effects does photography have on whose memories, how, and why?

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