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Sarah Williams: Before Now


With the First World War out of living memory, and it’s last known surviving veteran passing away in 2012, what kind of war do we remember?

What has been the impact of Photography, film and the Internet on our collective memory of that time? Can anyone really say they truly remember the First World War? It was seen, around the time of its invention, that the veracity of the photographic image was a huge improvement on the many weaknesses of the human memory. This can be observed today and in the past; people have almost an obsession to hold on to and capture their families and important events in photographs. However, it is the permanence of the photographic image that threatens to destroy our original interior memory. After viewing a photograph many times, in the end it is only the photograph we remember and not the actual memory. “Photography, instead of being in the service of memory is actually in the service of forgetting,” as one smart observer reported.

Sarah Williams graduated in 2009 from Swansea Metropolitan University with an MA in Photography: Contemporary Dialogues and has been a director of elysium gallery and studios from 2010 - present. The NGOCAW might be miniature in its size, but big in its ideas. Providing modern exhibition facilities within a ‘building’ that is the best in modern Welsh architecture whilst designed to travel and inhabit different venues across Wales.


The National Gallery of Contemporary Art Wales

Oxfam, Castle St, Swansea, SA1 1HZ

Sat 22 – Sun 30th Sept

Free Event