The Anonymous Project

Posted by Fabio 3 November 2017

From the period of the early 1950s, when prices for color photography had dropped to where it became accessible to non-professionals, to the rise of digital cameras, color photography soon developed into the dominant medium to capture daily life.

Not just weddings and graduations, or friends posing for friends, or families gathering for portraits, but everything.

Life, often unstaged, caught in lush Kodachrome color. These amateur photographs are a kaleidoscopic diary of that era, all the more fascinating and arresting because of their unpolished quality.

The magic of color photography is that when the chemicals on the film are exposed to light, color is created. The problem is that these chemicals degrade over time, eventually leaving no trace of the image. Most color negatives will not survive beyond 50 years. Unless urgent action is taken, this colorful piece of our collective memory, artifacts of daily life from the 60s up through the digital age, will fade out of existence altogether.

The Anonymous Project’s goals are to collect, scan, and catalogue colour photographic negatives and slides from the last 50 years.

The idea will be to curate the collection and house them in a single database, which will become an invaluable resource for students and cultural historians, or simply anybody who wants to look back on life in these periods and see it as it was captured through this singular medium. The website would also provide a portal by which the collection could continue to grow, allowing people to log on and contribute their own recovered negatives.

All photographs copyright © The Anonymous Project