In 2017 when filmmaker Lee Shulman bought a random box of vintage slides he fell completely in love with the people and stories he discovered in these unique windows in to our past lives.
Collecting and preserving unique colour slides from the last 70 years, the project was born out of a desire to preserve this collective memory and give a second life to the people often forgotten in these timeless moments captured in stunning Kodachrome colour.
From the period of the early 1950s, when prices for color photography had dropped to where it became accessible to non-professionals, to the rise of digital cameras, color photography soon developed into the dominant medium to capture daily life. Not just weddings and graduations, or friends posing for friends, or families gathering for portraits, but everything.
The magic of color photography is that when the chemicals on the film are exposed to light, color is created. The problem is that these chemicals degrade over time, eventually leaving no trace of the image. Most color slides will not survive beyond 50 years. Unless urgent action is taken, this colorful piece of our collective memory, artifacts of daily life from the 40's up through the digital age, will fade out of existence altogether.
These amateur photographs are a kaleidoscopic diary of that era, all the more fascinating and arresting because of their unpolished quality. Often funny, surprising and touching these images tell the stories of all our lives.
The Anonymous Project has in turn become an artistic endeavour that seeks to give meaning to these once forgotten memories and create new ways of interpretation and story telling that question our place in the world today.
This website brings together a unique selection of images from the private collection of Lee Shulman.
All images ©The Anonymous Project / Lee Shulman