Monday, May 16, 2011

Photographer #291: Matt Black

Matt Black, 1970, USA, is a socially engaged documentary photographer. He grew up in a small town in California's Central Valley, an agricultural area that is home to some of the poorest communities in the US. In his Dust Stories he photographs the various communities, including indigenous Mexicans and the isolated Hmong population, who have come to Central Valley to work on large and rich farms or try to make a living on their own. However, poverty, unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction, crime and teenage pregnancies are commonplace in these areas. The area produces nearly half of the US supply of fresh food. In Cloud Stories, Matt went to photograph the Mixteca, a mountain range in southern Mexico that is home to four indigenous ethnic groups, living largely isolated, speaking the pre-Colombian languages and often living without electricity and indoor plumbing. These towns have recently (and currently) transformed as the inhabitants are largely migrating to the USA. Matt has received numerous awards and grants for his work. The following images come from the Dust Stories: Oaxacan Exodus and The Black Okies and from the Cloud Stories: The Third Root.


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