All posts tagged: farmers

Tales from the contemporary American farm

What happens when the landscape of your childhood starts to disappear? American photographer Alexandra Hootnick grew up in rural upstate New York, but when large swathes of farmland near her old home were sold off to property developers, she realised how little she knew about the people living off the land. These tight-knit communities, self-reliant and resilient, became the subject of The Sixth Day, Hootnick’s ongoing series exploring “the beauty, challenges and interconnectivities” of life on these small, family-run farms. Over two years, she would photograph families who had recently moved to the area, with little to no farming experience, to join the established Amish community. We spoke to her about the challenges of photographing insular communities and why she chose to frame the series through the perspective of children:   How did you come across small-scale farm life in upstate New York in the first place? Upstate New York is my home. I grew up in a rural area and agriculture is part of the visual identity of my childhood. The majority of the surrounding farms are small, family-owned and …

2016-07-29T15:43:02+00:00

Las Valkyrias de Bolivia – the women wrestlers of La Paz

Earlier this year, Riccardo Bononi won first place in the Sport category at the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards for his project, Las Valkyrias de Bolivia. Bononi visited Bolivia on an unrelated research project, only to find himself photographing in the poorest neighbourhood in La Paz. The Valkyries are a group of women farmers from the countryside who come into the city and enter the ring for a series of wrestling bouts. The women, who raise their children all by themselves and work between the fields and the urban street markets, were the perfect example of migration from the countryside to urban environments, as well as a striking example of feminine strength. What’s the genesis of the project? My initial reasons for going to Bolivia were far away from the wrestling ring of El Alto. I had the opportunity to collaborate with a researcher from SOAS, University of London on a project looking at the migration of people from the countryside to the cities, along with the dispersion of traditional knowledge. My first impression of Bolivia was that of a …

2016-03-08T12:59:29+00:00

Scotland’s wild, untameable countryside and the women who work it

“The land was forever, it moved and changed below you, but was forever.” These words from Sunset Song, Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s literary elegy to the world of Scottish farming, echo loudly in Sophie Gerrard’s lyrical photography series Drawn to the Land, which captures a similarly fierce bond between Scotland’s wild, untameable countryside and the women who work it. Gerrard began the project two and a half years ago, when she moved back to her native Scotland after years based in London, as a way of exploring her own relationship with her home nation. “When you’re a Scot living away from Scotland, a lot of the questions you get asked about your home country often reflect on the image of this bonny land, the picture-postcard setting and the heather,” Gerrard told us by phone from her home in Edinburgh. “I realised I didn’t know Scotland any better than that, so I wanted to get to know my landscape as it is a real symbol of our national identity for many people.” She couldn’t have chosen a …

2015-09-23T16:28:31+00:00

BJP Staff