Photography & Postwar Reconstruction in Coventry
Photography & Postwar Reconstruction in Coventry. Presented by Dr Tom Allbeson.
Thursday 27 May 2021 6.30pm
Tom Allbeson will discuss how photographic images shaped debate about the rebuilding of Coventry following the destruction of the Second World War. Considering ruin imagery, photojournalism, aerial views and architectural photography, he will talk about ways in which visual culture was both central to promoting planning debates before the war and influential in shaping the meaning of rebuilding in the post-war years.
Visualisations of the historic and future city were widely circulated in Britain and beyond via exhibitions, pamphlets, guidebooks, professional journals, coffee-table books and popular photo magazines. All of these contributed to the idea and image of the post-war city. Specific attention will be paid to Coventry’s symbolism as a ‘martyred city’ and its relevance to post-war efforts towards European reconciliation including the central icon, Basil Spence’s cathedral – both a modern place of worship and a successful tourist attraction.
Dr Tom Allbeson is Lecturer in Cultural History at Cardiff University and author of Photography, Reconstruction and the Cultural History of the Postwar European City. There is a discount available of 20% enter the code ‘FLR40’ at checkout.
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Above: Basil Spence shows the Queen a model of the proposed Coventry Cathedral. Photograph: from John Bull, 14 December 1957.
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