Matt Black Lecture: Rural California’s Year of Dust

Matt Black presents his latest project, a culmination of nearly 20 years photographing California’s Central Valley.

Thursday, October 30, 2014, from 7–8PM
$10 General Admission

Matt Black Rural California’s Year of Dust
Sheep at dawn, Firebaugh, CA. Photo © Matt Black

Matt Black hails from California’s Central Valley, an expansive agricultural area that extends nearly the entire length of the state. He has been photographing the Valley’s small towns and vast farmlands for almost two decades to chronicle the decline of traditional American farming life and the rise of its modern replacement in rural California and southern Mexico. An exploration of the changing human relationship to land, food, farming, and community lies at the core of his twin documentary projects The People of Clouds and The Kingdom of Dust.
“I noticed a shift in the people I was photographing in the fields around my home town. [They came] from remote villages in [Mexico’s] deep south. Isolated by culture and language, they’ve been caught in a vicious circle of abuse: earning the lowest wages, paying the highest rents, and living under constant threat of deportation,” Matt told The New Yorker.
His most recent project Rural California’s Year of Dust, in collaboration with The New Yorker and Mother Jones, documents the impact of the California drought on Central Valley agriculture. Matt will present his work in a special lecture at The Image Flow on October 30.
Matt graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in Latin American and U.S. Labor History. His photographic work has been hored by the World Press Photo Foundation, the Alexia Foundation for World Peace, the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Foundation, and Pictures of the Year International, among others.
Discover more of Matt’s work on his website and read about his latest project on our blog.
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