Tuesday, October 16, 2012

FF event #1

Wednesday night was the Favourite Footes event at the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe.

Photos courtesy Mike Deal
Focusing on photographers and filmmakers, the event featured Erna Buffie, Colin Corneau, Bob Lower, Ian McCausland, and John Paskievich.

The nice thing about the WFP News Cafe was that it had three large TV screens mounted throughout the cafe.

We were able to show the slideshow of images from the book on the screens, which was lovely...and also confusing.

I hosted, and in those intervals when I wasn't on stage, I watched both the audience and the presenters. And I would often catch members of the audience staring intently across the room instead of watching the stage. And I would have to remind myself that they were looking at one of the TV screens, not necessarily the one on stage.

It was very interesting to hear the blog posts out loud, to hear the reverence that these image-makers had for Foote.

Another interesting aspect to the evening was how respectful the photographers were towards John Paskievich. They brought their copies of The North End to be signed - or bought copies at the event - and then posted pictures of his signature to Facebook and Twitter.

Interestingly, of the six images discussed at the event, only two were used in the book.

The first and best explanation is that there were roughly 2,500 photos in the Foote Collection at the Manitoba Archives and the book only had room for 150, so photos had to more than earn their keep to be included.

The second reason was that two of the photos, both of royal visits, ultimately couldn't be verified as being shot by Foote.

The final reason is that one of the photos was from the Manitoba Archives collection of coroner's photographs owned by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. As we've noted elsewhere on this blog, Foote worked photographing crime scenes, but A) UMP would have needed to get special permission to use these photos, unlike the ones in the Foote Collection and B) they depict dead bodies.

These are not cartoonish scenes, sterilized for the viewer. They are photographs of dead people, people that you or I might be related to. Some of them are bloody, but most of them are just sad...

All that said, it was lovely to bring together one of Foote's communities for an evening to celebrate this legacy. (One of his communities, you say? What are the others? Well, historians, for one. Architects, possibly. Writers. Anyone interested in vintage photographs.)

Thanks to everyone that consented to speak at the event. Thanks to the Winnipeg Free Press for sending Director of photography and multimedia Mike Aporius as well as Photographer Mike Deal to tell the audience about the Foote images in their archive.

Finally, thanks to everyone who came out and shared the evening with us!

Ariel Gordon
UMP Promotions/Editorial Assistant

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