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The European History of Photography British Photography 1970-2000

I was commissioned to write this a few years ago for the Central European House of Photography in Bratislava (and thank you to all the photo...

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Family Photographs 2: Grandma Dorothy

When I heard the news of my mother-in-law's death, I was staying in Kent with Pete, a kind of brother-in-law/uncle. I found his old pictures and started looking through them.

Here he is with his mum and dad and his Grandma Dorothy in the late 1950s. Aunt Dorothy is the one in the wheelchair with the broken arm in a sling. There's a nurse in the background looking all nursey and stern, striding purposefully towards someone or something, possibly the photographer who has thrown everything off-kilter and half-framed the nurse into the spotlight.

It turns out that Grandma Dorothy had a stroke and was put in a hospital. For six years. But she was single-minded and she fought against the doctors who told her that hospital was the only place for her, and eventually returned home. After six years in hospital. 

She lived at home for 6 more years, and then she died. And that is what the picture is all about, the story that goes with it.

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