Société Jersiaise press release

When Emile F Guiton (1879-1972) Honorary Curator of the Société Jersiaise Museum and founder of the Photographic Archive began his 50-year mission to collect images and chronicle Jersey island life for the Societe Jersiaise in 1914, we can only imagine what a challenge this must have been for him.

We now know how important this work was through the thousands of images that survive in our photographic archive as a result of his efforts. This vital visual record helps us tell the stories of our ancestors in museums today with an archive that is preserved for future generations. Many images in the archive date from the 1880s. Times change but a century later, in 2016, we face the same challenge as Emile Guiton: to archive images of the 1980s, a decade of dramatic cultural change and development locally and internationally. Although the archive contains some records of Jersey landscapes and architecture from the 1980s, very few images of the community are included.

In a partnership project with Jersey Heritage we are calling the Jersey Public to action to contribute photographs taken from that time. In 2017 a major exhibition at Jersey Museum titled ‘Bergerac’s Island’ will tell the story of the 1980s in Jersey. Ten of the best photographs submitted by the public will be part of the exhibition to help tell the stories of islanders at that time. The ten best photographs will be selected by the celebrated British Photographer of the 1980s Martin Parr; Gareth Syvret, Photographic Archivist at the Société Jersiaise; and Louise Downie, Community Learning Director at Jersey Heritage.

What is more, the subjects of the ten best photographs will be invited to be re-photographed by Jersey Photographer Danny Evans in the same pose in 2016 and this photograph will be exhibited alongside its 1980s counterpart!

We have already sent out media releases, set up a Facebook group www.facebook.com/groups/jersey80sfotos and asked the public to get involved. But so far only a few images have been found by enthusiastic islanders!

Does this simply highlight the changes brought on by the digital revolution and the ease of uploading, publishing and sharing photographs on social media? Or were our 1980s fashions really too embarrassing to share?

These questions only illustrate the importance of this project to archive photographs from the 1980’s, the last decade before the internet. So again we are calling out to the Jersey Public to get involved and get searching their photograph albums and their shoeboxes for a picture of Jersey in the 1980s. Gareth Syvret Photographic Archivist said: “We are interested in all aspects of life and every section of the Jersey community in the 1980s, from celebrations and successes through to the challenges and changing fashions, habits and ideas that defined the decade. Amateur and professional images are welcome and if members of the public have their own photographic archives or collections of photographs by family members or other people we are keen to hear about them.

Ten pairs of 1980s – 2016 photographs will be included in the Bergerac’s Island Exhibition at Jersey Museum in 2017. So go on, get involved, and get searching your archives of the 1980s now! 

How can you contribute?

You can submit your photographs in two ways:

1.Digital submission.

Scan and upload your photographs to our dedicated facebook page at: www.facebook.com/groups/jersey80sfotos

Please include as much information as you can but at the very least: your name and the names of all the people in the photograph; the date; and the location and event or occasion.

2.Loan your photographs to us.

If you don’t have the facilities to digitize your precious photographs we can do it for you, please download a loan form at: www.societe-jersiaise.org or collect a form at: Société Jersiaise, 7 Pier Road, St Helier, Jersey, JE2 4XW. Tel. 01534 758314. E. photoarchive@societe-jersiaise.org.

Please deliver your photographs, which must be marked or labelled on their reverse and accompanied by a completed form in a sealed envelope, to the above address.

All photographs must have been taken in Jersey in the 1980s! Closing date for submissions is: 30 June 2016.

You must be the photographer of any photographs you submit or have the permission of the copyright holder to do so.

Jersey 80s photographs needed for major exhibition