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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

John Ficara's "Black Farmers in America"

by J.B. Colson at The Digital Journalist

"Those of us concerned with the welfare of meaningful photography take some heart whenever a worthy project gets exhibited and published. John Francis Ficara's elegant take on black farmers in America documents a vanishing way of life and points to failures of social justice that sadly contribute to its passing. The book and exhibitions from his project are a significant contribution to the photographic ethnography of what has been one of our country's most important institutions, the independent family farm.

"Ficara's photography echoes the well-known FSA documentation of 1930s America. His book's jacket cover and some of its photographs could be from 70 years ago. More importantly, he treats his subjects with the same straightforward dignity that FSA photographers like Russell Lee used in their approach to those who, as Lee would say, "are having hard times." Mutual respect, photographer for subject and subject for photographer, not only aids their interaction, it provides us, the viewers, with more direct and telling insights."




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