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Simone Rocha on the heady days of teenage discos

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by Simone Rocha
18th May 2024

Irish designer Simone Rocha penned the foreword for the newly released photobook, Girls' Night by Irish photographer Eimear Lynch, and her words will likely resonate with every woman in Ireland that grew up worshipping at the altar of the teenage disco.

Last week, Irish photographer Eimear Lynch launched her first photobook with a signing at Dover Street Market for Photo London, hosted by none other than Simone Rocha. A long-time champion of Eimear’s work, Simone grew up sharing many of the experiences so vividly illustrated in Girls’ Night.

Eimear Lynch - Girls' Night

Speaking on the making of the book, Eimear says: “For Girls’ Night, I travelled around Ireland to photograph teen discos, and to try and capture the anticipation of girls as they prepared for them. In a way, I wanted to relive my teenage years. I loved going to discos. I mostly loved the hours of getting ready with friends beforehand. It would take most of the day. We’d usually go straight to one of the girls’ houses after school on a Friday and spend the following 5-6 hours doing our tan, hair, and make-up together.”

There are four texts in the book, with writing from Gráinne McCullough, Marley Nolan and Eimear Lynch appearing throughout, but it’s Simone Rocha’s foreword that sets the tone. Read it in full below…

Taney disco,

Which I think was in a church —

It was almost like going to church

The equivalent, a teenage rite of passage

 

How ironic to have all these teenagers in a church hall

in short skirts, socks and runners looking for something…

 

from boys

from girls

from your parents

 

My first shift but I just wanted to slow dance

My head on his shoulder, him looking around

Disco lights in the church hall up a hill

 

meet

shift

score

kiss

 

A baby blue and synthetic top with a strappy open back,

Bought in St Stephen’s Green shopping centre with tight black trousers with a flare and silver kitten heel from the Harlequin

 

Teenage bedrooms

 

Ironing your hair flat on the ironing board, taking turns to do your friends

 

To a backdrop of music videos on MTV on tiny TVs in bedrooms,

Little small ones in red which you could put a video tape in

 

Outside lining up against the wall in the dark in the queue,

Then waiting for your friend’s parents to pick you up behind the petrol station

 

The best nights of your life

Eimear Lynch - Girls' Night

‘Girls’ Night’ by Eimear Lynch is available for purchase from IDEA now.

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