Irish Travellers play an important role in Irish culture. In this timely book, Janine Wiedel's photographs transport us to the heart of the Tinker (now called Travellers) community of the 1970s. Accompanied by the Travellers’ words transcribed by Martina O'Fearadhaigh we gain insight into the anguish of a people in transition. The book presents photographs and words amassed over the course of a five year study of this resilient people at a crucial moment in their history. As their skills of tinsmithing, flower-making and spoon-mending, became redundant to 20th century needs, their traditional nomadic lifestyle was becoming unsustainable. Wiedel’s empathetic photographs remain a compelling record of a vanishing world. Caught between nostalgia for a vanishing past and an uncertain future, concern over loss of traditional values and a fatalistic acceptance of present difficulties, they manifest qualities of independence, pride, self-respect and sheer endurance. The hardship of their lives cannot fail to command compassion and admiration tinged with regret that society's progress creates such casualties.
Great on the iPad
Great to see these photographs again and in a format I can easily show to other people. I hope that Janine will prepare more of her work for publishing on the iPad.
This charming book is both topical and insightful. The black and white photography is superb and full of heart and keen observation. Lovely!
An excellent look at the life of travellers in the 70's with sensitive and well lit photography. A brilliant piece of research for anyone making a study of social history! A must read!