Super 8 Films from Rein Jelle Terpstra’s The People’s View

Annie Ingram, Elkton, Maryland, 1968; from Rein Jelle Terpstra’s The People’s View (2014–18); courtesy Melinda Watson

Glimpses of crowds waiting and watching, a train speeding past, American flags flying, and helicopters circling in the sky — these scenes were captured in home movies of Robert F. Kennedy’s funeral train on June 8, 1968, presented as part of Rein Jelle Terpstra’s research project The People’s View (2014–18). Terpstra (Dutch, born 1960), an artist who uses photography to explore connections between perception and memory, was inspired by Paul Fusco’s original RFK Funeral Train photographs, taken from onboard the train. Realizing that several people in the pictures were holding cameras to record the moment, Terpstra sought to reverse the perspective presented in Fusco’s project. Using social media and visiting sites along the train’s route, he located individuals and families who still had original snapshots, album pages, color slides, and home movies, reconstructing the event through the eyes of the people.