Throughout my multimedia documentary project “Glass Door” (parts of which have been featured in two previous Phoenix issues), I have become increasingly interested in not only how one’s work informs identity, but how the identities of workers inform the overall culture of a profession. Culture is often dangerously thought of as a static entity which can be essentialized and therefore easily understood. On the contrary, by its very nature, culture is complex, contradictory, constantly fluctuating, and always responding to a host of new (social, political, technological, etc..) pressures. The subjects of my portraits — Anna Darrow, Jane Goodall, and Lynn Levine — are all actively and successfully fighting to shape the cultural evolutions of their respective workplaces. With this series, I am attempting to blur the distinction between photojournalism and fine art, taking qualities from each tradition to create a visual rumination on women working with their hands and bodies in unsanctioned ways. The mindset they each bring to the fields of logging, carpentry, and forestry are challenging the oppressive patterns which simultaneously harm womxn+ and the environment itself.
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