213107 Telling their Story - Documentary Photography Confronts the Realities of Farm Work

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:30 PM

Earl Dotter , Photojournalist, Silver Spring, MD
The presenter is an award winning photojournalist who will describe how he successfully collaborated with farmworkers to yield photographs and quotes that personalize and humanize their lives and their work. He will discuss how he and Tennessee Watson, a documentarian and former migrant health outreach worker, established a mutually respectful rapport with migrant farmworkers so that the workers were comfortable sharing their stories. In discussions at harvest sites, labor camps and health clinic settings, he and Watson first established a trusting connection which opened the door to an ongoing dialogue and established a photographer-interviewer and subject relationship. Through these relationships, he and Watson became aware of particular concerns which informed the interview and the picture taking strategies. He will also highlight the ethical and legal reasons to obtain appropriate written photo permissions signed by his subjects, in their native language.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how to engage individual subjects and establish collaboration to effectively use photography to share their stories and highlight workplace health and safety concerns.

Keywords: Immigrants, Latino

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: In 1968 Earl Dotter joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and was assigned to the Tennessee coalfields. It was here that he first photographed coal miners and their serious health and safety concerns. After VISTA, he continued to work in the Appalachian Region photographing for the United Mine Workers Journal. Since that time Dotter has sought to document the lives of workers throughout the United States. In so doing, his goal has been to personalize the whole worker and his or her life on the job, at home and in the community. By 1996 Earl Dotter had assembled his occupational photographs to create the exhibit, THE QUIET SICKNESS: A Photographic Chronicle of Hazardous Work in America. In 1998, the book of the same name was published to accompany the exhibit on a tour of the six New England states, sponsored by The Harvard School of Public Health. In 1999 he was invited to become a Visiting Scholar with the Occupational Health Program through the Harvard NIOSH Education and Research Center at the Harvard School of Public Health. In 2000 Dotter received an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship to document what is now this nationís most dangerous occupation: commercial fishing. After the World Trade Center attack, he photographed the heavily impacted NYC firehouses and at Ground Zero. THE PRICE OF FISH and WHEN DUTY CALLS are the exhibits that resulted from these photography projects. Dotter received the American Public Health Associationís, Alice Hamilton Award in 2001. He was inducted as a Lifetime Honorary Member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association in 2008. Other recent Earl Dotter exhibits include: Our Future in Retrospect? Coal Miner Health in Appalachia The Photographs of Russell Lee 1946 and Earl Dotter 2006 JUST A NURSE, A 2007 Nurses Week Tribute to Nursing Practice With Appreciation to the Nurses at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Photographs by Earl Dotter, Writing & Interviews by Suzanne Gordon
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.