“I went into teaching full of belief and idealism... After five years I realised that there was no place for idealism in teaching"
May 14, 2008 7:11 AM   Subscribe

George Plemper's extensive photographic record of south London working-class life from the 70s and early 80s, in particular children at Riverside school Thamesmead, was left hidden away in carrier bags for three decades. Now he's put it on Flicker
posted by fearfulsymmetry (10 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Is this The Jam?
posted by ornate insect at 7:14 AM on May 14, 2008

I guess I don't find any of the pictures I saw very remarkable. Maybe in 100 years, they'll be fascinating genre pictures, but only 25 years out, they're still too recent to be anything but bland to me.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:25 AM on May 14, 2008

good work, lets hope the guardian didnt steal the copyright on his photos.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:52 AM on May 14, 2008

The pictures are lovely. The best part, though, are comments on his Flickr from some of the former students, talking about the people in the pictures and their lives.
posted by elfgirl at 7:57 AM on May 14, 2008

Is this The Jam?
posted by ornate insect at 10:14 AM

Heh, heh. Good one.

Interesting pictures and comments on the flickr site. Thanks for posting this.
posted by marxchivist at 8:10 AM on May 14, 2008

Saw this linked elsewhere. I though they were great, particularly the ease the subjects have due to knowing the photographer.. The clothes were nostalgia central for me, as the kids are not much older than I am. It's the wee fat lass and her younger brother at the Jubilee (in the Guardian slide show) do that really made me smile. The lad's out in just his trunks it looks like.
posted by Abiezer at 8:20 AM on May 14, 2008

A record of 1970s "working class life" might be a photo essay about the White Hen Pantry at the corner of 169th Street and Calumet Avenue in Hammond, Indiana. Unfortunately none of my teachers was prescient or brave enough to do it. This collection is a record of "pavement." It's not ugly, but it doesn't do what the photog or OP thinks it does.

As a living, breathing product of the actual working class (in the US rust belt, but still), I'm often annoyed by what's fed back to me as my "life." You can't just take abstract shots of pavement.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 9:18 AM on May 14, 2008

Why not, ethnomethodologist? I'm a product of the actual working class too (though further north in England and more rural) and thought this spoke to parts of who I am, though of course it's just those parts. Do you mean he's making claims about it representing some totality? I may have missed that.
posted by Abiezer at 11:21 AM on May 14, 2008

i don't know... i thought they were fascinating. even the repetitive photos of his walk to work (mostly alone) were meditative. i loved them, thank you!
posted by workinggringa at 12:46 PM on May 14, 2008

Wow, this is great. I'm going through the Flickr set, and it's lovely seeing people pop in with names of the kids and memories of the teachers. For what it is (school photos!), the quality of photography is brilliant too.
posted by saturnine at 2:31 PM on May 14, 2008

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