Alen MacWeeney, an internationally renowned photographer, born in Dublin in 1939, has launched a new book of photographs entitled ‘My Dublin 1963 // My Dubliners 2020‘. MacWeeney took the 89 black & white pictures that make up the book in Dublin in 1963/5. They are spontaneous images of Dublin and Dubliners in all areas of the city, a street odyssey reflecting a cross-section of the people, their habits and behaviour, ten years before Ireland joined the European Union and the wider world.

The text on facing pages consists of social commentary gleaned from a posting by Pesya Altman, co-author, artist and partner of MacWeeney, of each of the book’s photographs on the Facebook group ‘Dublin Down Memory Lane‘, eliciting a flood of 70,000 responses during 2020. Thus, the idea for the book was born.

These photographs of Dublin and Dubliners in 1963 have pertinent social and historical value as attested by their placement in numerous US Universities and museums. In addition, the text offers a novel way of understanding and appreciating a whole gamut of Dublin personalities through their reactions to the posting of these photographs during the current pandemic. The responses ranged from wonder and incredulity to heated derision, offset by the hilarity that characterizes Dubliners. The richness of the comments will be of interest to any Irish person curious to glimpse Dublin life in the ’60s and gauge Dubliners’ reactions today. They are fascinating, comical, absurd and poignant, adding a unique dimension to Irish social history.

Alen MacWeeney‘s photographs have appeared internationally in magazines and books: among them, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, GQ, and others. His books include Irish Walls; & Ireland; Stone Walls and Fabled Landscapes; Bloomsbury Reflections; Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Garden; The Home of the Surrealists; Spaces for Silence; Irish Travellers, Tinkers No More; Once Upon a Time in Tallaght; and, most recently, Under the Influence (2012). His photographs are in the MoMA, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and others. He lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, with yearly travels to Ireland.

My Dublin 1963 // My Dubliners 2020 is available from Lilliput Press and all good bookshops now.

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