Michael and Fateh | Ellen Rogers

Ellen Rogers

Michael and Fateh

Michael and Fateh

I don’t take my skills seriously as a documentary photographer, sticking instead to interior worlds and states. I can’t catch the flow of things; I usually have to set things up. But in the first lockdown, I bought a digital camera, and I’ve been trying to make an effort to remember to bring it to things. 

These were two instances that I was glad I remembered my camera, meeting my partner's friend Fateh Sheikh and also seeing his close friend and former PhD supervisor Michael Chanan, who we visit regularly. Fateh is a Kurdish Iranian revolutionary poet who lives in exile in Sweden and has participated in Kaveh's ongoing oral history project. And Michael, also of the revolutionary persuasion, is a professor emeritus at Roehampton University and an authority on the subject of Latin American Third Cinema. 

Michael has been very helpful to me personally in my journey as an academic as he too has written about melancholia via Walter Benjamin and ideas around melancholia in left-wing movements, an area of study which has become a huge part of my life, In ways too complex and difficult to discuss in a single blog post but perhaps it might be something that I start to think about in written form at some point. 

Pictured here is Fateh, in our flat, reading a poem he wrote about something he said reminded him of me, whilst also writing a poem for our cat. Michel is reading us a new chapter from his book, a first for him as it's a novel. 


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