Sonnie Solomon

 

Sonnie Solomon

LaToya Ruby Frazier and Photography of Braddock, Pennsylvania

LaToya Ruby Frazier grew up in the shadow of Andrew Carnegie’s first steel mill in Braddock, Pennsylvania, outside Pittsburgh. Over the course of a century, her family has weathered a wide variety of social and economic fortunes, from the city’s prosperous days as an industrial hub to its current ranking among the nation’s most financially distressed municipalities. Frazier’s 2014 photo essay The Notion of Family chronicles the deterioration of this Rust Belt town, featuring portraits of herself, her mother, and her grandmother along with images of its crumbling streets and dilapidated architecture. Unlike earlier documentary photographers, Frazier claims a more personal connection to the city, emphasizing her status as both a native of Braddock and a witness to its decay. In examining Frazier’s collection alongside the work of documentarian Lewis Hine and photo journalist W. Eugene Smith, this project interrogates the labels of insider and outsider in portraiture, while analyzing the implications of personal narratives for Pittsburgh’s photographic identity.

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  • HAAARCH!!! 2017