Whether at UFW picket lines in California's Central Valley or capturing summertime street life in East Harlem Latinx photographers have documented fights for dignity and justice as well as the daily lives of ordinary people. Their powerful, innovative photographic art touches on family, identity, protest, borders, and other themes, including the experiences of immigration and marginalization common to many of their communities. Yet the work of these artists has largely been excluded from the documented history of photography in the United States.
Through individual profiles of more than eighty photographers from the early history of the photographic medium to the present, Elizabeth Ferrer introduces readers to Latinx portraitists, photojournalists, and documentarians and their legacies. She traces the rise of a Latinx consciousness in photography in the 1960s and '70s and the growth of identity-based approaches in the 1980s and '90s. Ferrer argues that in many cases a shared sense of struggle has motivated photographers to work purposefully, driven by a deep sense of resistance, social and political commitments, and cultural affirmation, and she highlights the significance of family photos to their approaches and outlooks. Works range from documentary and street photography to narrative series to conceptual projects. Latinx Photography in the United States is the first book to offer a parallel history of photography, one that no longer lies at the margins but rather plays a crucial role in imagining and creating a broader, more inclusive American visual history.
About the Author
Elizabeth Ferrer, a writer, curator, and arts activist and administrator, is vice president of Contemporary Art at BRIC in Brooklyn.