Michael Rodgers’ photos of Derry during the Troubles in the Field Day Review

Field Day 2A set of striking photographs of the civil rights movement and the early Troubles in Derry by local amateur photographer Michael Rodgers that have never been published before are the subject of two essays in the current issue of the Field Day Review. The issue was launched in the Playhouse in Derry last Friday. In an introductory essay Lisa Rodgers, Michael’s niece, tells the story of  her uncle’s fascination with photography and how he developed his technical skills and set up his own darkroom in his house in the Bogside. She talks too about her recovery and printing of the images, many of which existed only as negatives, after Michael’s death. Many of us have seen hundreds of images of Derry during this pivotal historical period but there is something strikingly different about these pictures, taken by a technically-proficient photographer who was keenly aware of the photographic practices of visiting photojournalists but who was nonetheless deeply embedded in the local situation. The photos combine the visual aesthetic of the photojournalist with the insider view of a local amateur photographer. Lisa’s essay is followed by an essay of mine that discusses the political and historical significance of the photographs. These photos were taken by Lisa at the launch.

Field Day 1

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About niallodoc

Senior Lecturer in the School of Political Science and Sociology at the National University of Ireland Galway
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