Immigrants & Farm Labor | An American Variant Of Apartheid

 

Historian, Editorial and Commercial Photographer Richard Steven Street is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From his project ‘In The Fields’To see Richard ‘s body of work click on any image.

 

 

 

 

 

These images are the concluding chapter in a modern visual history of farm labor in California since 1975. They attack the immense advertising system’s facade by reconstructing varieties of labor in the fields. My goal is to underscore the extent to which fruit and vegetable production rests on a class of landless peasants (although we never reefer to them with such charged terms) and an American variant of apartheid. Through these images we shake hands not only with people of color and immigrants moving north from Mexico and Central America, but with those traveling east from China, India, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia. Watching 350,000 people pouring their sweat and blood into the fields, we sometimes sense that we have stepped directly into kind of modern analog to a Charles Dickens epic. Appearing at the drop of a hat, dismissed with the flick of a finger, and employed in a glutted labor market, California farm workers are channeled through the landscape as routinely as if sending irrigation water down the furrows of a field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

See also:

Beasts of the Fields

Book By Richard Steven Street

 

 

 

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