Outreach Spotlight: Lost Rolls America

Lost Rolls America


The Lost Rolls America project opens the magical reencounter with the past to anyone who possesses unprocessed film rolls. Contributors provide one roll of film, which is developed and scanned free of charge by FUJIFILM North America Corporation, and made available back to them. Participants then choose one image and, in a small write-up, explore the meaning of the photo and the significance of re-viewing a piece of their personal, sometimes lost past. Ultimately, these observations offer points of identification, through descriptions of similar memories or associations, for other viewers of this collective experience.

Lost Rolls America ensures the creation of a national archive of images from the public’s lost rolls, and acts as a digital repository of visual memories living on PhotoShelter’s unique platform. This is a form of collective memory that prioritizes the role of photos in constructing our personal and shared pasts. In revisiting the past, this project also encourages contemplation of how the present and future will be remembered: Which artifacts do we use to record and remember history? How do these artifacts evolve with time? In what ways has the shift from analog film to digital impacted our relation to our own personal memories?

PhotoWings’ partnership with Lost Rolls America explores the heightened role photography plays in how we document, and by extension remember, our personal and shared pasts through exhibitions, presentations and dialogue. It honors the value of old photographs, encourages cross-generational communication, and demonstrates the democratization of historical memory. The Lost Rolls America trailer will be a part of Month of Photography Los Angeles in 2018.


Learn more about the project: