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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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"Seeing Beyond Dirt: The Language of Working-Class Photography"

Friday, March 05 - 10:00AM to 10:45AM
Salon A

Frequently named in rhetoric about diversity, but rarely probed,
class is a critical element in the history of photography. This lecture
centers the lives of workers and proffers an analysis of their
collective photographic expressions through three examples:
nineteenth-century occupational tintypes, District 65 Camera
Club and the building of a progressive union with photography,
and the contemporary "unseenamerica" project where workers
photographed their own lives and communities. This lecture
is not about the bourgeois gaze of sympathy for the perceived
oppressed. It presents another way to interpret the aesthetics and
agency of photography-by seeing beyond the dirt of labor.

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