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Read, Watch and Listen

Afghanistan - Kabul

Kabul. Women and children attending a course on mine awareness.

ICRC provides local mine safety training classes in schools, clinics and mosques throughout Afghanistan. The training courses are provided for men, women and children alike so that Afghans have a clear knowledge of what to avoid in the field.

2006-09-11 © ICRC / AHAD, Zalmaï

Family Group with Photographer's Darkcart, Tintype

This typical family grouping interestingly includes the photographer’s own darkcart / darkbox in the upper portion of the image. This handcart held not only all the paraphernalia required to produce the photograph, but also acted vitally as a darkroom. On the side of the cart, as we see here, would be displays of previous portraits and thus such simple wooden handcarts functioned as hybridised studios, dark-boxes and galleries on wheels.

Adaptation

D. H. Lawrence, adapted by Hunt Emerson, Lady Chatterley’s Lover (London: Knockabout Publications, 1986). It’s not surprising that Hunt Emerson chose to adapt D. H. Lawrence’s controversial novel: frank depictions of sex were ubiquitous in the underground comix of the 1970s, the milieu in which Emerson came to prominence. But this comic’s visualisation of the 1920s inhales deeply the class politics of a later period in history: Lord Chatterley, after all, is a mine owner, and this adaptation brings to Lawrence’s text a political sensibility forged in the miners’ strikes of 1984-85. Showing his own allegiances, Emerson inserted anachronistic details into the text, such as 1980s badges supporting the National Union of Mineworkers pinned to a tree in the woods. The Cartoon Strip Lady Chatterley’s Lover © 1986 Knockabout Publications

Family Group with Photographer's Diffuser, Tintype

This unsmiling family group show yet another of the photographer’s tools - the diffuser. This would be used to soften fierce sunlight and eradicate harsh shadows. Whilst the mother and father collectively hold the child steady, the photographer’s assistant can be seen at the edge of frame holding the improvised diffuser. Usefully for us, the photographer has unintentionally captured not only the equipment, but also the assistant’s legs and the diffuser’s clear cast.

Self-Publishing

Gary Spencer Millidge, Strangehaven (Leigh-on-Sea: Abiogenesis Press, 1995-2005). In the 1990s Britain was home to an eclectic self-publishing scene: writers and artists were often their own editors and the comics they made were highly idiosyncratic and innovative. While they tended to have black-and-white interiors the covers were colourful and vibrant, as the first issue of Gary Spencer Millidge’s Strangehaven demonstrates. Millidge initially published this graphic novel in periodical form, and when each chapter finished serialisation, it was reprinted as a book. Like many self-published series Strangehaven did not last long enough for the story to reach its endpoint but it recently resumed serialisation in the anthology Meanwhile… (London: Soaring Penguin Press, 2014-present) and the entire narrative is due for imminent completion. Strangehaven © 1995 Gary Spencer Millidge