The Stranger in the Picture

Geoff Dyer’s 1989 book The Colour of Memory is essential reading if you were in your twenties in South London during the 80’s, concealing a middle class background whilst torn between the lack of jobs and the attraction of a bohemian lifestyle. It is my precise demographic so I loved the book.

In any snaps strangers intrude; the prints preserve an intimacy that lasted only for a fraction of a second as someone, unnoticed at the time, strayed unintentionally into the picture frame. Hidden among the familiar, laughing faces of friends are the glimpsed shapes of strangers; and in the distant homes of tourists there you are, at the edge of the frame, slightly out of focus, in the midst of other peoples’ memories. We stray into each other lives.

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