LaToya Ruby Frazier at The American Academy in Berlin
Guna S. Mundheim Artist Talk, March 4, 2014
©2014 The American Academy
Framework: Activism, Memory and the Social Landscape
The abandonment of suburban industrial towns by local and state governments has not been visually documented or accurately covered by the American mass media. With the rise of the “creative class” or “urban pioneers” pitted against the displaced working class, much human suffering experienced by the newly dislocated is overlooked. For over a decade, LaToya Ruby Frazier has been documenting, through photography and video, the collapse of the steel mill industry, environmental negligence, and deindustrialization that has affected her family and community in Braddock, Pennsylvania, a thirteen-block industrial town in the eastern region of Allegheny County. In this lecture, Frazier discussed her work, the importance of documentary photography today, and focused particularly on the intersection of documentary art that represents invisible realities and the importance of cultural memory found in the industrial heritage of towns such as Braddock, Pennsylvania and Eisenhüttenstadt in East Germany.