I’m not sure if I’ve actually rescued the past, or just delayed the inevitable demise of some photographic relics. I think it’s the latter.
A few years ago while living in Moscow, I found myself wanting to buy all the old photos which I came across in flea markets and other places that sold second-hand things. There were a lot of photos, even suitcases full of them sometimes.
It made me sad to think that people no longer wanted these old photos of their ancestors, family holidays, photos of their babies and children, and many other memories that should, in my opinion, stay with the family. Instead they were for sale in second-hand markets.
I’ve got a box of my own photos back in Australia, as well as some here with me in Bulgaria, and some I’ve left in Moscow with a friend because they couldn’t fit in my luggage when we had to leave Russia in a hurry back in March. I hope one day that I can get all my photos back together in one place, and that my daughter will treasure them and not try to sell them in a flea market.
So, I bought some photos in Moscow, but I couldn’t buy them all because they were actually really expensive. People were selling their old family photos, or someone else’s photos, for the same price, or actually a little bit higher, as it would cost to have them printed in a photo shop. I just couldn’t pay that, and so with great reluctance I left a lot of them where they were.
But I did manage to buy some on a few different occasions, and I felt such joy looking through them when I got them home. I wondered who these people were, and what their stories were, and where the photos were taken.
I wondered about their families, and I wondered why their photos were now in my possession.
Of course I can never know the answers to these questions.
The saddest part about this is that I had to leave them all behind when I left Moscow. I just couldn’t take them with me, I had only one suitcase and I couldn’t even fit all my own photos in it.
I feel like I abandoned them.
But I did scan every single one of them, front and back (when there was something written). I hope that I will keep their memory alive by sharing some of them with you. I’m really grateful for the technology we have to be able to scan photos and other precious mementos. And I do look at these photos from time to time, just to keep them alive
So, here are some of my favourites. It was difficult to choose because most of them, if not all, are simply wonderful.
I hope you like them.