Friday, April 27, 2012

Dafydd Iwan Wired

Wirephotos are wonderful relics from the pre-digital age. I think it is the combination of photographic image and text that does it for me. There’s a certain glamour to them that has something to do with speed and distance. When the wire service was introduced in 1935 by the Associated Press (AP) it revolutionised photographic-journalism because it meant that images could be transmitted down the telephone line. Foreign desks in particular would make use of its trans-global possibilities. Associated Press and United Press International are the most famous American news agencies. In the UK there is Reuters and the Press Association. Agence-France Presse, in France, is the oldest news agency in the world. This AP wirephoto (sent from Cardiff to New York) is from 1970 and shows singer and Welsh-language activist Dafydd Iwan on his release from Cardiff prison. The text reads:

(NY-Feb.6) AGITATOR RELEASED FROM PRISON—Bearded pop singer Dafydd Iwan, chairman of the Welsh Language Society, stands with his wife, Marion, and baby son, Llion, as he talks to newsmen on his release from prison at Cardiff, Wales, Friday. He was released after serving three weeks of a three-month sentence. He was arrested and imprisoned for refusing to pay $134.40 in fines and costs for defacing English language road signs in Wales as part of the Welsh Language Society’s campaign for equal status for the Welsh language. (AP Wirephoto by cable from Cardiff) (hrm61413pw) 1970.