In the footsteps of my father

My father had been recruited as a young man from Crown Agents to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. His first foreign posting as a diplomat was to Karachi, Pakistan in 1962. This happened to coincide with my birth on the 3rd of October in the same year. From then until I started college my life was going to revolve around living in different countries moving approximately every three or four years.

Over the years the family roofs were located and included, Pakistan (Karachi), Australia (Canberra), a brief spell in the UK (Staplehurst), Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), Portugal (Lisbon), Brazil (São Paulo), St Lucia (Castries). My fathers last post was during the fist gulf war, Saudi Arabia (Riyadh).

Interspersed with an education back in the UK I was able through friends and family to visit many other countries such as The US, France, Germany, Belgium, Cyprus, Spain, Italy, Benin, South Africa, Kenya, recent years I have traveled on seven occasions to China where I have visited Guizhou, Sichuan, Gansu and Beijing. China is an extraordinary country and I hope to return.

Travel clearly as a birth right in some respects, has given me an insight, and I hope appreciation of different peoples, cultures, histories and landscapes.

These photographs - a small sample from a bigger archive show the life of expats in a rapidly changing world. On the one hand it is my fathers story, and, on the other it is also mine.

My memories or imagined memories sparked by images from the past.

Next year (2017) I am planning to start a retrospective journey to Ethiopia, to see what I remember or what these photographs ask me to remember as a child.

The following year 2018 will represent 50 years since arriving in Ethiopia. What has changed in 50 years?

My journey to Ethiopia will reflect on my fathers recollections and my childhood memories.

Whilst I know the world and specifically Ethiopia in 50 years has changed, I want to smell, to touch, feel and walk the places I once walked, using my fathers photographs and cine film as reference material to tell a new story reflecting change, age and time.

Ethiopia learning to ride a bike
Ethiopia - a visitor
Ethiopia - rowing
Ethiopia addis ababa
Ethiopia - Somali children
Ambassadors house
Ethiopia family life
Ethiopia the office
Norman Parkinson photo shoot
Ethiopia the office