You wouldn't understand
by me, styling by Linda Portman Sagum, model: Kim (Next Models), Make up by Mia Yang, Hair by KIYO
My Father is a biker (motor biker) he raced a bit and slowed down when I was a kid he took up photographing races instead. They (my parents) used to be part of bike gangs, most of which they still are and sometimes the sight of them both in leathers can bring me to tears.
When I was a little girl I was left with the next door neighbour when they went out. One day they all came home with the usual low buzz of bikes and brakes only on this day the women where hysterical. They all took off their helmets and walked in to my house. My mum spoke to Sue-lin my neighbour and explained that I had to stay with them for a bit longer on that day.
My friend Po-yee and I were trying to jump over the wall and see what was happening. We got nowhere.
Slowly everyone went home and my mum came round to pick me up.
They explained to me that a friend of the family had died and that if I hadn’t noticed already ‘it was very sad’.
It just so happened that my parents had witnessed their friend’s head come clean off in its helmet.
Apparently my dad’s natural reaction to this event was to raise his camera and photograph it.
For weeks my mum wouldn’t let him develop the film. They would argue and argue about it. Eventually my dad ignored her and hand printed it, Mum would never allow it in the house so dad hung it in the garage. I wasn’t allowed to look at it. But I would always try to.
I think he was right to document it because that way the event was harder to forget. Perhaps that’s what my mother took aversion.
She is a repressor by nature largely owed to the fact that she is from a generation that sweeps things under the carpet. I can honestly say that the day I see my friends severed head in front of me I too will photograph it, it’s the least I could do to help preserve their memory.
Posted by ELLEN JANE ROGERS at 1/15/2010
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