Henry Chesney

"State of Flux"

Section MS9, Keren Kuenberg

Keywords: memory, community, photography, architecture

The Hastings Archive is a collection of photos without order and without meaning. The photos represent over 100 years of Hasting’s history, stories and memories. There is something nostalgic about standing in the same place as the person who captured a single moment in time. Susan Sontag said “Life is a movie. Death is a photograph”. What I understand of this, is that time is continuously playing and photography captures it unaware of its future meaning. If we believe photography is the art of the machine then this project gives a voice to the participants.

When we are walking down the street, seeing similar people and similar buildings we often glide past without ever noticing the finer details and the hidden stories. The streets we live on are well-trodden. This project, a new compiled archive, based on my personal collection of photographs, hopes to shed light on my town, Hastings. Giving history and the stories that come with it a new revitalised life. With its rich fishing, smuggling, and tourism history, what has led to the decline and the now rise in popularity? And how do we critically look at how this change took place?

By following the local resident’s footsteps of the Anne King, and using photography devoid of people. Giving the local residents a chance to learn about their town during a time when leaving the house has become restricted. Giving freedom to the vulnerable and giving tangible memory to the once forgotten.