Romance, Reality and Responsibility: Recording the Tradition
Doc Rowe (Folklore Society)
Paper short abstract:
For 50 years Doc Rowe has been engaged in "serial collecting" with annual visits to innumerable seasonal events in the British Isles and Ireland.
Paper long abstract:
For 50 years Doc Rowe has been engaged in 'serial collecting' with annual visits to innumerable seasonal events in the British Isles and Ireland. He not only holds a passionate belief in the relevance and importance of tradition but also in the capacity of twentieth century technology to reveal and extend the knowledge and study of our traditional heritage. Regular attendance and continuous fieldwork has led to a positive relationship between 'collector' and 'collected' and the documentation of otherwise unrecorded aspects of many of our cultural traditions. The preparation of costume, guises, garlands, designs, etc., shaped by local and individual aesthetics, are rarely recorded but film and photography go some way to redress this. Supplemented by taped interviews, bibliographic, photographic and historical source material provide social and historical background material. Accepted as a 'part participant', Doc. Rowe's material is constantly updated. More private and intimate encounters are counterbalanced by more extravert, risky and dangerous activities such as running with blazing tar barrels or being crushed in mass scrums in community sport! In this illustrated presentation, he reflects on the primary inspiration and motivation for collecting as well as the rapid development and contemporary genius of electronic technology, editing and digital dissemination - all that would have been so valuable some thirty years ago in using archival images to stimulate oral testimony.
Folklore and Photography