Belfast Photo submission

Off the back of creating my proposal for FMP, I have used the core ideas and material to present an idea related to my project. I think that if anything, it is really valuable to start considering outputs for the project and although I am not directly considering an exhibition for the work, it would be really beneficial to have it seen in different contexts.

Project submission:

In the absence of memory, all I have is an unreliable narrator.

What happens in the absence of memory or if memory is the construction of an unreliable narrator?

My own family is disparate, uncommunicative, and alienated. The relationship between my mother and her mother is strained to a point where they have not spoken for over 25 years – from when I was a child myself and unable to fully understand why and where. Ever since the narrative has been shaped by those still around to construct it. I look at some of the images within this archive and wonder what happened, as Marianne Hirsch notes: “Perhaps it is the familial look itself that makes it difficult to read this picture which will not reveal any identifiable truth” (1997, p. 104) so I have deliberately sought to utilise images within the archive that have been dismissed as ‘bad’ and those that are less indexical to the romanticised and idealised moments they were supposed to represent. As a link to how the photograph supports building memories, many have a ‘twin check’ label attached or ingrained into the image, which was intended to aid the ‘memory’ of the person processing it. This is to explore different ‘truths’ and highlight the way that family narrative can be unreliable as a basis to construct an individual history. The work is effectively a personal story but one that has elements of universality, exploring the way that we all construct truth and present romanticised versions of oneself.


Hirsch, M., 1997. Family Frames: Photography, Narrative and Postmemory. 2012 Reissue ed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

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