While on holiday in Yorkshire last month, my friends and I decided to go up to Newcastle for the day. I didn’t know much about the city, except that it was at the heart of the industrial revolution in Britain and that it’s where Dire Straits singer Mark Knopfler is from. In fact, while making my way to Yorkshire from Wales – where I started out, visiting friends – I found myself on a whistle-stop tour through the north of England, passing through Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds before ending up in York. My impression of these cities was all too brief: driving through Birmingham, which was heavily bombed during the war, left me with the impression of a hodgepodge of soot-stained red brick buildings with garish postwar structures planted here and there. Newcastle, however, surprised me: I had expected more of the same. But the moment we passed that magnificent sculpture on the motorway, the Angel of the North, which personifies better than anything the north’s industrial charm, and drove into the city with a view of Newcastle’s seven bridges curving over the river Tyne, I knew we were in for something different.
My travels in Wales, Scotland, England and Ireland came to an end two months ago, so it seems like a good time to present a chronicle of my time over there in my preferred manner: self-portraits.
I am currently doing an internship in Swansea, South Wales, and on my way there last week I spent a most lovely day in Bath, in England. A charming little town, Bath was most famously inhabited by Jane Austen and, just a little before that, by the Romans. What I was most excited to see were the Roman thermal baths – or rather, what was left of them. I’d also brought my new 50mm camera lens that I was eager to try out and which I’m very pleased with thus far. All photos can be seen in better quality on my Flickr page!
While doing research for my MA thesis, I came across the website of the National Archives, which some time ago had a great exposition called The Art of War. Do check it out: there’s book illustrations, propaganda posters, videos, and an overview of official British war artists. Since my thesis focuses on women during the Second World War, I have compiled some of the most striking images concerning the roles they played. You might not know it, but women were everywhere! The ground they gained towards emancipation by taking over men’s duties while they were away at war was in many cases lost when the men came home again, resulting in much frustration for the women.
Notice! Because I’m reformatting my photos, this post is without pictures at the moment.
London is a city I can never get enough of. I went for the fifth time this week, and I was again delighted to the point of giddiness by the unexpected, the old, the new, the classic, the alternative, and the way it all meets on one street corner. I have done different things and seen completely different sides of London on every trip, and this one was no exception.