Photography and Work

Issue 132 Cover

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This issue of Radical History Review examines the conceptual and historical connections between capitalism and photography, exploring the potential of photography to enable radical approaches to historicizing the lives of working peoples.

Focusing on work made by British photographer Chris Killip and American photographer Latoya Ruby Frazier, Walter Benn Michaels and Daniel Zamora analyze the way these photographers both acknowledge the decline in working-class power while insisting on the continuing power of the idea of class conflict.

Nature, Empire, and Race
Siobhan Angus shows how photography visually chronicled and materially transformed the wilderness on Canada’s industrial frontier. Adrian De Leon suggests that we think about colonial photographic encounters as negotiations over the terms of labor. Carol Quirke shows how a labor union in New York City produced a vision of interracial class solidarity. Erica Toffoli argues that photography enables migrant workers to protest the effacement of their labor. Claire Corbould considers how model Maurice Hunter adeptly curated his own image within a racialized advertising market.

Portable and Precarious
A photo-essay on construction sites in rural China by Tong Lam.

Reading Photos
In a series of tightly focused essays, Ian Bourland, Rick Halpern, and Oliver Coates offer three different approaches to reading archival photographs.

Practices of Refusal in Images
An interview with Tina M. Campt about her most recent book, Listening to Images.