My cup ot tea.

As it's the new year and everyone's doing best of 2007 and top tens etc etc I decided to look for a published photograph from 2007 that was very simple, no frills, was well presented and that I really liked for a variety of reasons. I eventually decided on this one. I found it in the UK's Guardian newspaper. Everyday they print one picture over a full double page spread and this one was published in December. It is by no means my top photograph of 2007, but it is one which has everything I need. Kind of like a cup of tea on a cold day. It doesn't have to be spectacularly good in order to satisfy completely.

Photograph: Sabah Arar/AFP/Getty Images

The caption reads:

December 3, 2007, Baghdad, Iraq: Tailor Kader Nasser Sadek at his workshop, where for 50 years he has decorated the walls with mementoes of Iraq's turbulent history. Now he has run out of space.

This is a very simple, straightforward image but it hides a wealth of detail. It is not in any sense gimmicky. There is a calm geometry to the photograph. Also, among a plethora of deadpan portraits the fact that the tailor is concentrating on his work and not staring vacantly at the camera is refreshing. Though this man - Kader Nasser Sadek - is identified as a tailor there are few trappings from a tailor's trade visible. Instead you see the walls are covered in photographs and clippings. When the caption reveals what these decorations consist of then the photograph becomes laden with the weight of politics, history and current affairs, though I disagree slightly with the dramatic sentence "Now he has run out of space" mainly because it isn't quite true. There is a small patch of wall unfilled!

I am a sucker for scenes of everyday life and I am pleased that someone in Iraq has a place like this. As a counterpoint to many of the photographs coming out of the country everyday it encourages me. That it was published as a stand alone image over two whole pages is something any photographer should be proud of and I think it was an intelligent choice. As a picture it stuck in my mind and sparked many trains of thought. Again, something any photographer should be proud of.

So all in all a good solid cup of tea on a cold winter's day. Lovely.

Finally, my first new years resolution is to Keep It Simple Stupid. Shouldn't be to complicated to stick to eh?

1 comment:

Alice Dison said...

beautifully haunting