The Ones That Are Wanted: Communication and the Politics of Representation in a Photographic Exhibition. Corinne Kratz. (2001: University of California Press)
Corrine Kratz, The Ones Who Are Wanted: the Politics of Representation in a Photographic Exhibition” (2002)The Okiek people of Kenya’s forested highlands have a long history of hunting, honey gathering, and trading with their Maasai and Kipsigis neighbors; several decades ago, they also began farming and herding. This book follows a traveling exhibition of anthropologist Corinne Kratz’s photographs of the Okiek through showings at seven venues, including the National Museum in Nairobi and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Kratz tells the story of the exhibition–the stereotypes it sought to challenge, how commentaries by Okiek people were incorporated, and different ways that viewers in Kenya and the United States understood it. Throughout, Kratz incorporates insightful reflections on her changing involvement with the exhibition as anthropologist, photographer, and curator, and she provides perceptive discussions of such topics as photography in Kenya, stereotypes, and the post-1970s proliferation of the politics of representation.
Changing Works: Visions of a Lost Agriculture. Douglas Harper. (2001: University of Chicago Press)
The work of Douglas Harper has for two decades documented worlds in eclipse. With photographs and interviews with dairy farmers in upstate New York, Harper brings into view a social world altered by machines and stuns us with gorgeous visions of rural times past. As a member of this community, Harper relates compellingstories about families and their dairies that reveal how the advent of industrialized labor changed the way they structure their work and organize their lives. Changing Works combines Harper’s pictures with classic images by photographers such as Gordon Parks, Sol Libsohn, and Charlotte Brooks-men and women whose work during the 1940s documented the mechanization and automation of agricultural practices. Ultimately, Harper challenges timely ecological and social questions about contemporary agriculture. He shows us how the dissolution of cooperative dairy farming has diminished the safety of the practice, degraded the way we relate to our natural environment, and splintered the once tight-knit communities of rural farmers. Mindful, then, of the advantages of preindustrial agriculture, and heeding the alarming spread of mad cow and foot-and-mouth disease, Changing Works harks back to the benefits of an older system.