Alt-J: Taro

The band, Alt-J, have become my recent obsession. I can’t get enough of their songs, won’t attempt to try and define their genre as I wouldn’t know where to start and don’t want to expand more except to state that ‘Tessellate’ and ‘Breezeblocks’ are the most famous, but its the song ‘Taro’ that does it for me. After listening to ‘Taro’ on repeat on Youtube, I noticed a comment urging fans to check out the history of the song, so I did, and three hours later I’m still devouring it.

Gerda Taro was the first female to photograph from the front line, and the first female to die in action. She was a Polish Jew, born in Germany and arrested for anti-Nazi protests at 23 years old. Soon after, she decided it was too dangerous to stay in the country, and moved to Paris, where she met Hungarian photographer Andre Friedmann. She taught him to dress, he taught her to photograph. Both talented, passionate and broke, they decided upon a joint venture, to work together under the pseudonym of Robert Capa, a distinguished, fictional American who Friendmann eventually became. They photographed side by side, and both died doing what they lived and loved. Recently, it was discovered that many of the images originally celebrated as Capa’s, were actually Taro’s. The discovery was momentous, her images offer an insight into the role and perception of women in the 1930’s. Combined, Capa and Taro’s images showcase pioneering examples of life, and death, in wartime.

For me, the fascination was instilled when I discovered Taro was born on 1st August 1910, and her funeral was held on 1st August 1937. My birthday.


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