Photographic Surveys of Calendar Customs: preserving identity in times of change

ROBINSON, Andrew (2019). Photographic Surveys of Calendar Customs: preserving identity in times of change. In: Folklore and the Nation : the annual conference of The Folklore Socitey, University of Derby, 29 Mar 2019 - 31 Mar 2019. Folklore Society. (Unpublished)

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The spectacle, drama and other worldliness of English calendar customs has long attracted photographers and a rich photographic record exists in publications, archives and personal collections dating back more than 130 years. During this period, there have been two major national surveys of English Calendar Customs which continue to act as key references for anyone approaching the subject as either photographer or folklorist. The work of both Sir Benjamin Stone1 and Homer Sykes2, undertaken some 80 years apart, coincide with the first and second folk revivals, a time when both national identity and photographic practice was seen to be in a period of rapid change and flux. A more recent resurgence in the English folk arts, characterised by a move towards the mainstream, also coincides with a period of intensified public interest in Englishness and Britishness, and has seen calendar customs represented in further national surveys3, vogue fashion editorials4 and at international arts festivals5. This paper will draw comparisons between the work and motives of Stone and Sykes and other photographers associated with the first and second folk revivals and will also consider more recent representations of calendar customs in the light of current debate concerning national identity.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Additional Information: This paper was presented as part of the Centre for Contemporary Legend Research Group's special panel session on Regional-National Identity at the Folklore Society's annual international conference along with papers by fellow CCL members Dr David Clarke and Diane Rodgers. The paper was then selected for publication as a chapter in the Routledge book 'Folklore and the Nation' 2021.
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Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2023 13:20
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 17:30

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