Making History A Visual Record of the CAW's First 25 Years

August 28, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

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In celebration of the CAW's 25th anniversary, the union has published a book of historic photographs that highlight key moments in CAW history.

Making History: A Visual Record of the CAW's First 25 Years, features 166 pages of photos, interviews with CAW leadership, an introductory essay by CAW President Ken Lewenza and a foreword by Council of Canadians National Chairperson Maude Barlow.

The book was compiled and edited by photographer Vince Pietropaolo, who, along with former CAW Communications Director Jim Paré, searched the union's photo archives, visited local union offices and contracted individual photographers.

They culled through thousands of photos, selecting 200 taken by 50 photographers, many of them local union photographers, for use in the book.

"This collection of photos triggers a flood of memories. However unique the situations captured in the photos, there is also a shared sense about them. Even if we weren't there, we've been there - on picket lines, in marches, in standoffs with the police, in union halls, at bargaining tables and ratification meetings, at picnics and celebrations," Lewenza says in his essay.

Pietropaolo outlines how the photos depict key events and people in the union's first 25 years and also reflects the change and growth the union has experienced in that time. And just as the union has gone through tremendous change so has the world of photography.

"At the beginning of the union's history, most pictures in the archives were black and white prints, many of which showed the wear and tear of having been handled by many people over time. But in the intervening years, photography became digital and electronic, with far reaching consequences," Pietropaolo says in the preface.

As the union enters a new era in its history, Pietropaolo reminds readers of the importance of photos in capturing the history of the labour movement. Because of the nature of digital photography it's increasingly important that photos are properly stored with written details about what the photo captures.

"I would therefore encourage all members to spend time to store them properly by archiving them in hard drives, by burning a copy on a CD or DVD, and further, by selecting key images of every project and making prints on paper with relevant information recorded on the back," Pietropaolo said. "Would the family album have the same emotional impact on us if the pictures were all digital and stored in a computer?"

To purchase a copy of the book contact the CAW communications department at  Copies are $40.

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