A few months ago, I was looking for something to remember our time in Rwanda. I have a tonne of photos, but wanted something else. Something different. Something in some way connected with news. With the wire I created when we lived there. And this seemed to nail it. It’s an original AP wirephoto sent on July 1, 1962. The day when Rwanda and Burundi became separate and independent countries.
I’ve not decided what to do with it yet. At some point, I plan to print several photos I took while living in Rwanda and do something with them. Maybe I can include this artefact in that.
It’s not much in itself – a poorly drawn, basic map, a brief report, some scrawls and dates on the back of the image. However, it was dispatched at a point in time, 52 years ago today, when these two countries were born. In the literal sense of the term, this is a news item. I think that’s why I’m glad I bought it.
In 2014, it’s worth remembering that in it’s day the wirephoto machine was just as revolutionary as Twitter, Instagram et al. And journalists and newspaper readers the world over still rely to a very large extent on “the wires” for news.
Happy independence day(s) to Rwanda and Burundi.