b. 1953, Iraq
Fawzia, to Basil Al Rawi*
“When I left Iraq in 1979, I left behind a large collection of photographs, hundreds or maybe thousands. When I returned in 2003, I found only around 20 photographs had survived. Unfortunately, the majority of my photographs have been lost or damaged. These photographs are so dear to me, I’m attached to them, and I would like to leave them for my children or grandchildren. I don’t know how to care for them, as they’re starting to deteriorate. Do you have any idea?”
“Family photographs are very special objects and these physical prints are something that need to be cared for. I understand that, having lost so many photographs, the ones you have left are extremely precious to you. Digital preservation seems like the best way to go nowadays. It’s a way of making a really good copy and you can bring some of these images back to life. Obviously, the original has an authenticity and an aura that can be hard to replicate, but it brings up the question of - is it the object that is important, or what is represented in the photograph that’s important? I think making some good scans of your photographs is probably the first thing you should do, and then you’ll definitely have a good copy of them.”
* Basil Al-Rawi joined us as a guest speaker during the workshops to discuss how photography and memory have framed his practice, particularly his Iraq Photo Archive project, which seeks and invites the public to upload photographs taken in Iraq before 1980.
Find out more and watch his presentation
With Fawzia, we worked on scanning and digitizing her photographs in order to preserve what’s survived of her photographic archive.