“Driftless” with Danny Wilcox Frazier

Virtual event

Date

January 28, 2021
10:00–11:15AM EST

Join VII Insider
A young girl dreams of becoming a summer festival queen like her older sister, Conesville, Iowa. (2003)

Join Danny Wilcox Frazier in conversation with Ziyah Gafic for VII Interactive Book Club discussion of Driftless.

In Driftless, Danny Wilcox Frazier’s dramatic black-and-white photographs portray a changing Midwest of vanishing towns and transformed landscapes. As rural economies fail, people and resources are migrating to the coasts and cities, as though the heart of America were being emptied. Frazier’s arresting photographs take us into Iowa’s abandoned places and illuminate the lives of those people who stay behind and continue to live there: young people at leisure, fishermen on the Mississippi, veterans on Memorial Day, Amish women playing cards, as well as more recent arrivals, Lubavitcher Hasidic Jews at prayer and Latinos at work in the fields. Frazier’s camera finds these newcomers while it also captures activities that seemingly have gone on forever: harvesting and hunting, celebrating and socializing, praying and surviving.

Poetic and dark but illuminated with flashes of insight, this collection of photographs is a portrait of contemporary rural Iowa, but it is also more than that. It shows what is happening in many rural and out-of-the-way communities all over the United States, where people find ways to get by in the wake of closing factories and the demise of family farms. Taken by a true insider who has lived in Iowa his entire life, Frazier’s photographs are rich in emotion and give expression to the hopes and desires of the people who remain, whose needs and wants are complicated by the economic realities remaking rural America. – Alexa Dilworth, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University

Ziyah Gafic

BiH
, Sarajevo

Ziyah Gafic (1980) is an award-winning photojournalist and videographer based in Sarajevo focusing on societies locked in a perpetual cycle of violence and Muslim communities around the world. He covered major stories in over 50 countries.

Danny Wilcox Frazier

USA
, Iowa

Documentary photographer and filmmaker Danny Wilcox Frazier focuses his work on marginalized communities both in and outside of the United States. Frazier has photographed people struggling to survive the economic shift that has devastated rural communities throughout America, including in his home state of Iowa. His work acknowledges isolation and neglect while also celebrating perseverance and strength.