Saturday, November 29, 2014

Photographer explores worth of words :: Robert Dawson - Raising Literacy

Photographer explores worth of words
Record 11.16.2014 by Michael Fitzgerald

Renowned photographer Robert Dawson is in town, shooting a yearlong project called Raising Literacy: A Photographic Survey of Libraries and Literacy in San Joaquin County.”

If that sounds dry, it’s not. Dawson believes a city’s DNA is often encoded in its libraries. That’s a good call. The champions of literacy, and the forces they fight, speak volumes about a city.

Or, as Dawson put it, “It’s not just about literacy for farm workers’ kids. It’s about literacy as culture and identity.”

On Friday, Dawson was shooting at French Camp Elementary School. I caught up with him. The tall, white-haired 64-year-old San Franciscan stood in the office, dressed Urban Hiker Casual and draped with photographic gear.

Along for the ride was Dawson’s wife and curator, Ellen Manchester.

“This is a new situation in terms of photography in a classroom,” said Dawson, who is known for landscapes. “You’re going to see someone struggling to make sense of this situation.”

Dawson was not out to make cute pictures of avuncular teachers and students beaming over books. His photographs are filled with social and cultural observations. Some are pointed.  READ MORE !

No comments: