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  #178 Historic
Entry 4 of 24
What is historically significant?       ©2016 kerszkavet
Panasonic DMC-FZ150       4th place, 112 points
1/125s, f5.2, ISO 100, 600mm, Aperture Priority, Center Weighted Average, no flash
Post-Processing: Each picture was cropped, sharpened and adjusted for lighting – aiming for a reasonably uniform tone, with some increases in contrast, black point, white balance. Some attempts to correct distortion from camera angle.
      Extra Info: Created from 20 frames.

The challenge text started me thinking whether the Battle of Hastings was really a world changing event. (Incidentally, posters on Quora suggested that if Harold had won, William would have come back again later – or William’s stronger cousin would have. Or someone else.)
I’m trying to ask the question of “what is historically significant” through London’s blue plaques. The official scheme was started in 1866 by the Society of the Arts, then operated by London County Council, Greater London Council and currently by English Heritage.

The questions I’m thinking about:
Is it historically significant to know that someone famous lived or died in this place? The fame of previous generations does not always last (Clarkson) – or for the ‘right’ reasons (Huskisson)

Who decides on ‘significance’ – what is their political / cultural perspective? Are the numbers of plaques for white men reflective of past power dynamics? Is there a risk of allegations of tokenism when redressing the balance (see recent discussions in UK press re Mary Seacole’s statue). What about the ‘unofficial’ plaques? (Lenin, ATM) – who decides on those?

Do commemorative plaques reinforce the idea that history is about the acts of individual Great Men and Women, not the mass undercurrents of people, economies, culture and society?

Are artists and musicians as significant as politicians or inventions? Do the plaques imply an equality, a neutrality as to the person’s achievements?

How would the world have been different without any of these people? Would someone else have made the same inventions - Logie Baird was only just ahead of the competition, but we remember him, despite his initial designs being quickly replaced? Someone else would have been the first sitting female MP, or named clouds…

A composite of 20 pictures all taken by me during the challenge period.
13 comments on this entry
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Nov 15, 2016
    Congrats, nicely done!

Nov 15, 2016
    I'm glad your excellent work in finding and photographing these plaques was rewarded with 4th place. Congratulations

Nov 14, 2016
    Congrats on your 4th place finish. Quite an undertaking!

    Comments After End of Challenge    
    Comments During Voting    

Nov 14, 2016
    Good project and lots of historical interest.

Nov 14, 2016
    I think this entry shows the greatest imagination and effort in the competition. Of course it is historical. It took me a long time to read the plaques and dwell on them. The walls behind took my interest also. High in my TT.

Nov 13, 2016
    Did you visit 20 locations to photograph all of the plaques? If so, an impressive effort. Very interesting take on the theme.

Nov 13, 2016
    A tour de force. Congrats on your project and the impressive result.

Nov 13, 2016
    I was not aware we are allowed to do a collage. From apart it almost looks like a mosaic tile. Very nice! As well as a good idea to collect the signs.

Nov 12, 2016
    a labour of love . i had the same idea when waiting for a bus but the wall had names of several Bristol Uk and area linked engineers
fortunatly the bus came and i didnt return until competition closed

Nov 12, 2016
    Great idea, well executed and fits the challenge well for me. Hope they weren't too far apart!

Nov 11, 2016
    A very creative response to the challenge. well-executed.

Anthony Comyn
Nov 11, 2016
    I like this. 20 pictures, you have been busy. I like the different textures from the different walls and surfaces and also spot on with the theme.

Nov 11, 2016
    This is really fascinating, great subjects.
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By kerszkavet


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