Lee Grant – Photography Blog

The Ethnography of Wrestling & Suburban Carnivals

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Blimey, it’s been a busy week to say the least! But I feel like the focus (and hopefully the end point) to my work is beginning to become clearer!

I’ve had a constructive meeting with Martyn, a tutorial to properly make use of the Metz set-up with Peter and of course photographed quite a bit – this time, Nelson (a schoofriend of my son Charlie), Maryann and her baby Tanielu (a friend of my sister Kim) and yesterday (which I absolutely loved and will be following up) Main Event Wrestlers who were performing at the local ‘Charny Carny‘, which really was rather entertaining. Regarding the latter, I was pretty amazed at how intense the kids were as the audience – my own 8 year old daughter included! Raucous and almost feral, there was very little in the way of ‘socially appropriate’ child-like behaviour, but then again, they were absolutely involved and in the moment which seems to me to be more child-like than not! And as an old bird – who was also enjoying the flexing of muscle – said to me “ah, they’re kids! It’s all in a bit of fun!”

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I suppose the insight that I walked away with is this: that we are all kids for such a short time – and it seems this time is getting shorter and shorter. The kids were tough, there is no doubting this and they’ll likely become tough adults (Charnwood has a reputation for being a tough suburb, though it is slowly becoming ‘gentrified’ due to cheaper – I dare not say cheap – real estate. Despite this, there is a great community feel to the place which from a visual perspective, always makes for good photographic fodder!) Perhaps I am hanging on to some romantic and idealised idea of what childhood actually is, but why not? Life should be magical at least, because it sure is surreal when reality hits! I mean, life is fiction right?

OK, enough philosophising! In short, I’ll be following up the wrestlers for some portraits. I spoke to their manager and they seemed keen, so we shall see. I think they might add some nice flavour to the body of work that I’m working on for my Studies. Speaking of which, I’ll be photographing a workfriend today, with his flatmates. They are all young university students – so another transitionary phase in life. Should be good.

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Written by Lee Grant

March 18, 2007 at 9:33 am

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