On Monday 11th November I went to meet Jinx Rodger in Kent. Jinx is the wife of the late George Rodger, Magnum co-founder. She was a little overwhelmed to have two new people come to visit, as well as having Carole Naggar and son, Jonathan to stay. However, she was more than happy to let us look at her husband’s photographic archive.
The ‘archive room’ is at the top of a steep set of wooden stairs, which acts as a landing really. Immediately I was in a state of awe. Jinx is extremely enthusiastic about her husband’s work and it is literally bursting out the drawers. Her dedication to keeping the archive and preserving it goes beyond having it filed at home. In the bureau in her bedroom she has a draw full of the diaries George kept during the war. With the diaries Jinx pulled out transcribed versions she made during the 1980s. Although in Carole Naggar’s book she suggests how much Jinx admired George’s practice; but I saw first hand her commitment to his work. It took her six months to type up the diaries- she said that she was the only one that could just read his writing.
The diaries are small with tiny delicate hand writing in. They are exquisite artefacts in their own right.
Although they are embedded with stories and days’ accounts; there is a story of their keep: their transcription and where they live, how they live, in Jinx’s Kent house. If I have time to return to Kent in the next week, I would like to document this story. Talk to her about transcribing the diaries: why she did it (for what purpose). I could use audio of walking up the stairs, opening to bureau etc, to really create a sense of being.