March 25, 2013

COLD WAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Looking through various historical materials recently, I came across an interesting book from 2011 that Spy Vibers might enjoy. A Cold War Tourist and His Camera features a collection of color slides by Warren Langford. The book was created by his children, Martha Langford (Concordia University Research Chair in Art History) and John Langford (professor at the University of Victoria). From McGill-Quenn's University Press: "Cold War-era imagery is defined by the striking contrast between the ideal of the nuclear family and the nightmare of nuclear annihilation. In 1963, Warren Langford, a Second World War air force veteran and career public servant, travelled through Europe, North America, and Africa as part of the National Defence College's curriculum of Cold War training. Langford, never before much interested in photography, bought a camera and produced some 200 slides of his travels. In A Cold War Tourist and His Camera, his art historian daughter and political scientist son bring his photographs - an unexpected combination of iconic images of Cold War dangers and touristic snapshots - back into view."


"Martha Langford and John Langford examine their father's apparently innocuous photographic experience, revealing the complexity of both the images and their creator. An intelligent and personal look at the ways that the historical and the private are represented and remembered, A Cold War Tourist and His Camera stages the family slide show as you've never seen it before." Here is a sample of the book from Youtube:


"A book full of observations and pointed comments about Canada's role in NATO and in world politics of the time. Indeed, the text can serve as a brief introduction to Cold War politics." -The Montreal Gazette. Read the review at 49th Parallel here. More info at Amazon


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