Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Alen MacWeeney (born 1939) is an Irish photographer

For over five years, Dublin-born Alen MacWeeney (born 1939) photographed the native itinerants of Ireland known as Travellers, spending countless evenings in their caravans and by their campfires, drinking tea and listening to their tales, songs and music. In a memoir of this period, the photographer describes his attraction to the lifestyle of his companions: “Theirs was a bigger way of life than mine, with its daily struggle for survival, compared to my struggle to find images symbolic and representative of that life.” With « Irish Travellers », MacWeeney has crafted a profoundly beautiful record of a slowly vanishing way of life rarely seen by outsiders, let alone captured by a camera. Author and winner of the Man Booker prize John Banville compared « Irish Travellers » to “Edward Curtis’s masterly recuperation of the American Indian.” Alen MacWeeney’s photographs are essential records of a vanishing culture.

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