Picturing Glasgow: Raymond Depardon in conversation

Published: 14 December 2020

On 5 November 2020, SMLC hosted an interview with Raymond Depardon, one of the world's most important photographers, on the topic of his celebrated photographs of Glasgow. 

In 1980, following a commission by The Sunday Times, Depardon travelled to Glasgow where he went on to produce a stunning collection of images of life in the city.  

Depardon’s photographs were not ultimately published by The Sunday Times and were unknown to the public until a retrospective of his work at Paris's Grand Palais in 2013.  

To mark this event, Greg Kerr of SMLC worked with BAFTA Scotland New Talent photographer Chris Leslie to produce a short film, Present Past: Glasgow in Photographs. The film reflects on the place of Depardon’s photos in the photography of the city of Glasgow. 

The organising committee for the interview consisted of Greg Kerr, Paul Castro of SMLC and Andy Stafford of the University of Leeds. The interview was held on the Zoom platform for an audience of over 450 from around the world and was the subject of an article on the BBC and much interest on social media. Raymond Depardon spoke passionately about his remarkably varied career as a photojournalist in deserts and war zones, about his later development as a photographer of the everyday, and about the significance of the Glasgow photos in his life’s work. 
At the end of the interview, he announced his desire to donate the prints of his Glasgow photographs to a museum in the city. The interview (transcript) can be found here: https://www.gla.ac.uk/events/raymonddepardon/

More can be learned from William Boyd's essay 'Raymond Depardon’s Grisaille Vision of 1980s Glasgow'  and the Magnum Photos website shows a number of his photos: https://www.magnumphotos.com/arts-culture/society-arts-culture/william-boyd-raymond-depardon-1980s-glasgow/ 

A trailer for Journal de France, a 2012 documentary by Claudine Nougaret and Raymond Depardon offering an introduction to Depardon’s life’s work as photographer and filmmaker as well as a portrait of France past and present, can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4w1aSFQBdE&ab_channel=DistribFilmsUS 


First published: 14 December 2020

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