Instant Photography


polaroid - gollys

There was a little shop in Hawkeshead, Cumbria and these boys were set outside. They’re brand new; made in China.

At school we were encouraged to call them golli-dollies (this was after the ritual burning of Enid Blyton and her Noddy books featuring golliwogs. Maybe it was just the books РI was young and impressionable).

Personally, I think if you have an old doll that you have had for years then that’s one thing, but it’s the 21st century now and there are so many clever and exciting toy and doll creators out there, so why hark back to something that might upset your customers? That’s not very kind or nice and I am sure we can come up with something better. Or am I being too sensitive?

[Photo taken with Polaroid SX-70 and 600 edgecut film + ND filter]

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  • Reply
    11 October 2011 at 09:50

    It’s a lovely photo but I know what you mean – I didn’t think they still sold them.

  • Reply
    11 October 2011 at 12:14

    I actually think you’re being very balanced and fair. My step-mother insists on buying golliwog dolls for my children and it makes me very uncomfortable… Not as uncomfortable as the Belgian tradition of the Zwarte Piet (Black Peter)… Zwarte Piet is St Nicholas’ side-kick. If you are good, St Nicholas (essentially a father christmas character in full catholic priest regalia) gives you a present. If you are bad, children are warned, Zwarte Piet will beat you with a stick. And what does Zwarte Piet look like?
    “Ridiculous” and “stereotype” are two words that spring to mind. And every Christmas, shopping malls and city centres are filled with blacked-up clowns parading around, making fools of themselves and everyone stands around and cheers… My first year here (coming from London), I just stood there with my mouth hanging open in shock… And now I have two children… What am I meant to say? “If you’re good, a nice white priest will give you a present [because we all know catholic priests love children, right?]… If you’re bad, a drunken black man will come and beat you? Oh, and by the way, prejudice is a bad thing.”??! It’s 2011… Apparently.

    • Reply
      11 October 2011 at 12:15

      Wow! I’m sorry. For a first comment on your wonderful blog that was loaded! I promise i’m not usually this bad. Please don’t block me!

      • Reply
        11 October 2011 at 12:33

        Don’t be sorry Cass, I found it fascinating and I love getting comments – welcome! :) x

    • Reply
      11 October 2011 at 12:32

      Oh my goodness, ‘Zwarte Piet’ leave the gollies in the shade, I had no idea! Belgium, that is mixed up and crazy – traditions are allowed to change, you know!

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