Last of the asks for today, folks, and definitely the oddest.
Jan is on a documentary photography course, and as part of her assignments, she has to create a portfolio. She has decided to record the impromptu tributes erected to people who have died from RTAs on the streets around Greenwich. She says:
“I am interested in capturing how and why deaths are remembered. Some tributes are just flowers, others have photographs and personal items. Some can be identified with a little research.”
It is interesting – and quite a recent phenomenon. A few years ago, the most you might have seen would be a bunch of flowers tied to a lamppost. Now the tributes are getting really quite large.
At first I wondered if a project like this might somehow be intruding upon private grief – but no – this is very definitely public grief – something we Brits have never been very good at in the past. Perhaps the advent of these roadside memorials is a nation trying to find new ways to explore the concept of grief from what is essentially scratch – we’ve always bottled it up before, and now we don’t really know how to deal with it, so we’re trying out different forms of expression. And Jan’s decision to capture it is a fascinating social document of something happening now.
After getting over the shock that there are indeed enough of these things in the area to make a project from, I turned my thoughts to Jan’s question, which is quite specific. She asks:
“For many years of driving up and down Shooters Hill Road I have noticed at the junction of Farjeon Road imitation flowers attached to a pole. I have been unable to find out why they are left there and what they “commemorate” if anything. Would you happen to know, as I would like to include this in my PF and am hoping to have a little background info for each image.”
Parochial old Phantom, once again, has no idea – (oooh – Shooters Hill Road – it’s -oh, about a mile away. Nah, guv, not my manor…) but maybe someone here does?
Oh – and Jan – maybe you could upload your project onto a website or a Flickr account so we can see the finished results?