I’m looking at photos in an album put together by my mother in late 1954 (“Till Thomas julen 1954 från Mamma” [To Thomas from Mum, Christmas 1954]. It contains 69 photos of me and my family taken by my mother and my grandparents between winter 1947 and summer 1954.
On one photo I see a boy in a sun chair who is about to take a sock on. That’s me. I’m sure Same nose, same ears, same chin, same skinny body. I take him in as if he were my own.
Och i nästa ögonblick känns det som en främmande person. Jag minns solstolen, men jag minns inte att han satt där. Varför denna grimas? Poserar han för fotografen?
Som en de få forskarna på relationen självbiografi och fotografi skriver om barndomsfoton:
“It is hard to imagine a more authentic document or one more bound up with the very definition of identity. And yet such photographs are not always acknowledged by their own subjects: Ernaux, Roubaud, and Perec all speak of their feeling of estrangement at the sight of these images and seem to feel the need to relocate this material within a lengthy text in order to regain ownership of it. Photographs ultimately pose the problem of the grasp that individuals have on their own memory, their ability to think of themselves as whole when they are confronted by the otherness that the image presents to them.”
(Véronique Montémont, “Beyond Autobiography”, i N.Edwards, A.L.Hubbell, och A.Miller, red., Textual and Visual Selves, 2011; citat från s. 45)