LaToya Ruby Frazier’s study associated with Flint’s water crisis

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This article is printed within the latest issue of British Journal of Photography publication: Ones to Watch. Join our community before 09 06 to secure this issue as part of your BJP Subscription.  

The photographer’s multi-layered, five-year body of work finds a new home in book form

LaToya Dark red Frazier first travelled to Flint, Michigan, in 2016, commissioned by Elle to produce a photo essay about the city’s ongoing water crisis. The issues with Flint’s water experienced begun two years earlier, on 25 April 2014, when officials, including the then-Michigan governor Rick Snyder, oversaw the particular city’s water supply being switched to the contaminated Flint River. The move had been devastating. Lead leached in to the city’s water, affecting the health of those who used it. The scandal and its devastating effects on Flint’s residents, paired with all the lack of mass-media coverage, went Frazier on. What started as a single assignment grew to become a five-year, multilayered entire body of work confronting the injustice, and a testament to photography’s ability to empower and enact visible change, as Frazier articulates in the publication’s foreword.

Three components divide the series, hence its title Flint is Family within Three Acts . On Frazier’s initial visit to Flint, she encountered the poet, activist and mother Shea Cobb and her girl, Zion. Their story – of Cobb wrestling on her family’s and community’s rights – threads through the pictures, grounding the otherwise elaborate, expansive narrative. The project has been previously published plus exhibited in various contexts. Nevertheless , as a weighty hardback, these types of distinct chapters, accompanied by different texts, arguably inhabit their particular most apt form.

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