the disposable memory project

Found a camera? Tell us here!
Are you one of The 100? Visit our new project for 2012

We need your help! Local Teams

May 25, 2009 by admin

One of the big problems we face with getting cameras home, is that they need to be sent via the postal service (we like to handle developing the films ourselves, as we take them to a good lab to make sure we get the most out of the images – disposable cameras have a habit of being a bit dodgy quality!) back home to London. This is quite a big ask for people, and whilst we are happy to cover all the costs of getting that camera home, sometimes organising an international package can be a pain.

So, we’re asking for volunteers to act as local representatives of the project. We’d like to find people in the following areas who would be willing to act as a local address where people can send their cameras:

West Coast USA
East Coast USA

What would be involved?
Nothing immediately, but when a camera is finished in the same country as you, we’ll provide the person who currently holds the camera with your address. They’d drop the camera in the post to you, and then you’d send it on to us. We’ll cover all of your costs of getting the parcel to us, and you’d have our eternal gratitude!

How often do I need to go to the post office?
Very rarely. We currently have only 9 cameras out of 120 or so – its unlikely you’d need to do it any more than two or three times a year. If this changes, you can always opt-out of the project, and we’d still be friends! :)

Okay, I’m up for that
Cool – email us at [email protected] and we’ll sort out the details!

Also, if you have any ideas on how to make the project easier for people to return cameras, do let us know – we’re happy to consider all suggestions!

Camera 85 has returned home

May 23, 2009 by admin

Camera 85 image

Camera 85 has returned home after its journey around the Morro Bay area of California.
Originally created by Matt and Kris, the camera was handed over to Mary, who seemed to take it on a drive around the area. Matt told us more about its journey:

[Mary] informed us that during the preceding week, she had gone on an adventure all up and down the central coast of California taking pictures with the disposable camera that we’d left with her some weeks before. From Cayucos to Los Osos and all parts between, she told us about all the things she’d snapped pictures of.

The Camera returned home last week, and the images are now online – if you have any comments on these images, please visit the Camera 85 page, and add your thoughts.

Camera 97 returns home – its story.

by admin

Cmaera 97 image

Camera 97 has returned home full of images from the UK. It’s journey started in Lyme Regis, after a handful of photos being taken around the bay, and then left on the Cob Wall by Graham K:

This is the sea wall made famous in the film The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

The camera was quickly found by Susan P, who took a number of images:

I found the camera on the Cobb, I was on holiday at the time in Dorset. The dog is Molly in the cottage where we stayed. The children are 2 of my grandchildren at home in West Yorks. The young lady is a colleague in front of our Centenary Tapestry in Horbury, well worth a viewing!! Finally the Catherdral is Wakefield Cathedral.

Moving North with Susan P, the camera found its way to RSPB Bempton Cliffs in Bridlington, North Humberside, where it was found by Robert D, and then Daphne P. who eventually returned the film home for development.

Both Graham and Susan have commented on the camera to tell us more about the images. You can have a look at the pictures and comments at the Camera 97 page. Please add a comment if you know anything about this camera’s journey.

Will Self on typewriters

May 22, 2009 by admin

Writing on a manual [typewriter] makes you slower in a good way, I think. You don’t revise as much, you just think more, because you know you’re going to have to retype the entire (flipping) thing. Which is a big stop on just slapping anything down and playing with it.

We think the same is true for film.

More about Camera 38

May 14, 2009 by admin

Image from Camera 38

Andrew G, who returned Camera 38, has told us a little more about the images from his camera:

The camera I sent you before is a mixed bag of shots. There’s the visit to the strange performance with backstage antics at the Boston Arms, then the drunken walk home shooting skulking cats and abandoned fridges. There’s a couple of my teething baby with her old Fisher Price camera.

The visit to Cambodia was work. I was DP for a doc called Manin, about an orphan growing up in Pom Pehn. I shot most of the images riding about in a Tuk Tuk because I was shooting video constantly the rest of the time.

One or two of the visit to the orphanage are special. I snapped these at sunset on the last day of shooting. Some of the kids were flicking the light from the sun at each other with little vanity mirrors.
One of the children, I called her Zami (the little girl in red pajamas) decided to start shining the light into my eyes from across the yard. So I played a along by dodging in and out of the pillars to hide and snapped the last couple of shots on the roll as I did so. The little girl’s parents had died in a housefire two weeks before but she was so full of life you couldn’t help liking her.

She was always laughing or sharing a visual joke like this ( I couldn’t speak Khmer nor she English ) and we’d become quite good friends on my frequent visits there to shoot.
So I find that shot of her very poignant and beautiful.

Andrew has also recently returned from North America and dropped a number of new cameras for us: Camera 119 and Camera 120.

Camera 101 – The story so far.

May 4, 2009 by admin

one of the teachers at the workshop, as well as one of the children who will hopefully benefit from Christy and other teachers work.

Emmanuelle R. wrote to us a couple of days ago to tell us that she’d found Camera 101:

When i was in Laos, (end of january), in Luang Prabang, somebody that i dont even know gave me a camera at a bus station, where we were aparently the only two tourist, waiting during hours and hours for our different bus.

This guy (from Italy if I remember well), gave it to me at a moment of my life were i felt the most alone in the world (cause was travelling by myself since 9 months, but never been so hard than at this moment), and also it was the day before my birthday. Nobody could wish it to me (no phone, no internet, nobody who knows my birthday), and that cam was like a sign to say ”you’re not alone, that will be the present for your birthday..” . We didnt even talk much with this guy, and he gave it to me (his bus coming first finally), and said: you can do whatever you want with it, thats yours now..

I think now that he has been able to read on my face that many things was happening in my head at this moment.. So that’s why i took a picture with this camera of the bus station, place where he gave it to me, and place where i had so many different feelings inside of me.

Emma goes on to explain its journey from that day forwards:

And then, i took this crazy bus to follow my trip in Laos, a bus which was going to Sam Neua. 17h hours in a bus where you cant even close an eye during 10min, because of the noise, the small place that you have, sitting in the middle of the bags of rice and so on.. just with locals people. At this moment, i took an another picture (cause i knew that i will probably not live this moment twice in my life).

Then , i crossed the border of Laos to go Vietnam, and went later on in the Halong Bay, in Hanoi. Beautiful place, so i took another picture. I’ve been travelling down Vietnam, and at the end of the trip in Vietnam, i had to meet some unknown family in Ho Chi Minh. The traffic was so crazy in this place that i took another picture.

Finally, i came back to Australia (where i had a working holiday visa there), in Perth. I took a last picture with the camera in the metro of Perth, to say like ‘back to the civilisation now’.

Even though each camera which goes out has a unique code, sometimes cameras are sent out with that code, but we don’t know about its original drop. As this was the case with this camera, we emailed Christy H. who was given the code back in December 2008, to find out about its beginnings:

When I last saw Camera 101, it was 26 January 09, and I was handing it over to a traveller in Xieng Khouang, Laos. At the time, I was working in Xieng Khouang, facilitating a teacher workshop in partnership with the Ministry of Education, so most of my time was spent indoors at the workshop venue.

Christy sent us some images of the camera, before it went out on its journey. She also told us about the great work she’s doing in Laos, educating children about the perils of landmines:

One of the goals of primary school education in the area is to teach children about the dangers of undetonated military explosives, which are unfortunately a common feature of the landscape in and around Xieng Khouang. The most dangerous are anti-personnel bomblets, which are about the size of a baseball, and painted bright colors, so they’re particularly attractive to children. About 30 million of them were dropped on Laos during the aerial bombardments from 1965-75, and it’s estimated that 3 million are undetonated, out in the forests, rice paddies and schoolyards of Laos. So it’s very important to teach children to not pick up unfamiliar metal objects.

The images at the top of the post are of one of the teachers at the workshop, as well as one of the children who will hopefully benefit from Christy and other teachers work.

Thank you to both Emma and Christy for such evocative emails about this camera. I truly hope that Camera 101 returns home so we can illustrate their stories.

100th Camera and Comments

May 3, 2009 by admin

Well, we’ve done it – in just over one year, we’ve reached our 100th camera – courtesy of Graham K.

Just left Camera with Jim, captain of the Phoenix, a two masted sail ship due to leave for Morbiene in France, next week out of Charlestown, Cornwall

(Thanks Dad!)

Camera 100 is a wonderful milestone to reach – and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our community of camera droppers. Between us, we’ve left cameras in 28 countries, as far as Nepal and Cambodia, East and West Coast US, Africa, South America, and all over Europe.

To help us hear what you have to say about the images, and to tell more of the cameras’ stories, we’re introducing the ability to comment on cameras. All of the cameras which have returned home, and some of the active cameras now have a ‘Comments’ tab above the list of updates. Click on that, enter your name and message, and we’ll add your thoughts to the page. We’d love to hear your comments on the images, and the camera’s journey – as well as if you know any of the people in the images or the locations, so we can build more of the story. Come along and say hello!

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