Skip to main content

My Dublin 1963 // My Dubliners 2020
Alen MacWeeney

Dublin 1963 / 2020 Alen MacWeeney

Dublin 1963 / 2020 Alen MacWeeneyDublin 1963 / 2020
Alen MacWeeney
The Lilliput Press

Text by Pesya Altman.


212 pages
230 x 290 mm
ISBN 9781838314309


These 89 black & white photographs taken by Alen MacWeeney in Dublin in 1963/5 are spontaneous images of Dublin and Dubliners in all areas of the city, a street odyssey reflecting a cross section of the people, their habits and behaviour, ten years before Ireland joined the European Union and the wider world. The text on facing pages consists in social commentary gleaned from a posting by Pesya Altman, co-author, artist and partner of MacWeeney, of each of the book’s photographs on Dublin social media platform Down Memory Lane, eliciting a flood of 70,000 responses during 2020. The idea for the book was born.

These photographs of Dublin and Dubliners in 1963 have pertinent social and historical value as attested by their placement in numerous US Universities and museums. The text offers a novel way of understanding and appreciating a full gamut of Dublin personalities through their reactions to the posting of these photographs during the current pandemic. The responses ranged from wonder and incredulity to heated derision, offset by the hilarity that characterize Dubliners. The richness of the comments will be of interest to any Irish person curious to glimpse Dublin life in the ’60s and to gauge the reactions of Dubliners today. They are entrancing, comical, absurd and poignant, adding a unique dimension to Irish social history. MacWeeney’s work partakes of the tradition of reportage by Walker Evans, Cartier Bresson and Robert Frank. In the early sixties he assisted the legendary photogapher Richard Avedon in Paris and New York.

About the Artist
Alen MacWeeney (b. 1939, Dublin) is an Irish photographer. His  photographs have appeared internationally in magazines and books: among them, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, G.Q., Life, The World of Interiors, American Photographer, and Aperture, and others. His books: Irish Walls; & Ireland; Stone Walls and Fabled Landscapes; Bloomsbury Reflections; Charleston: A Bloomsbury House and Garden; The Home of the Surrealists; Spaces for Silence; Irish Travellers, Tinkers No More; Once Upon a Time in Tallaght; and, most recently, Under the Influence (2012). MacWeeney’s photographs are in the permanent collections the MoMA, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, among others.

About the Contributor
Pesya Altman was born in Israel. She studied in Bezalel Art Academy and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Pesya lived most of her adult life in NYC and Chicago, where she taught art and drama, and in Brattleboro VT, where she raised goats and made maple syrup. Since July 2014 Pesya has lived and worked in Brookline, MA. When she is not in Brookline, she travels, draws and paints on a sailboat. Her art reflects the life of a wanderer. Her mixed-media works are fragments of life and dreams combined.

About the Publisher
The Lilliput Press is one of Ireland’s smallest and most prestigious publishing houses. The Lilliput Press was founded in 1984 by Antony Farrell in County Westmeath. Jonathan Swift spent his summers in a house nearby, and derived the name Lilliput from a local townland. The office was moved to its present locale in Arbour Hill, Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, in 1989. More than 500 titles have appear under its imprint; these encompass art, music (both traditional and popular Irish music) architecture, autobiography and memoir, biography and history, ecology and environmentalism, essays and literary criticism, philosophy, current affairs and popular culture, fiction, drama and poetry, all broadly focused on Irish themes. They are particularly focused on publishing high quality books about Irish history, and have covered a wide range of topics in this area alone.

Leave a Reply