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Killed Photos


This piece has come about after reading about the ‘killed photos’ from a 1930’s American farm documentation project funded by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) as part of  Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal policies. 

Photographers were sent out to document the life of poor and destitute farmers. Over 270,000 photos were taken, but approximately 100,000 of them were deemed unfit for use and were ‘killed’ -using the language of the project administrator- by hole punching them. 

I decided to bring some of them back to life. Using the punched holes as a starting point, each photo box has 4 different images printed on wood with holes placed in different places. The images can by swapped. Behind the front image is a hand embroidered scroll on a vintage flour sack cloth. The embroidery has an agricultural theme including the different sounds that goats make around the world, and images of ‘wallfish’ otherwise known as snails, possibly the first farmed animal. Each photo has a new life as the scroll is turned and parts of the embroidery behind can be seen through the images. 

A P Ali Pickard (The Yaffingale)


Y Medelwr Geiriau The WordGleaner


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