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From Publishers Weekly
In the summer of 1997, Boston-born, London-based photojournalist Nickerson began documenting farm workers outside Harare, Zimbabwe, in what became a two-year photographic trek through that country, Malawi, South Africa and Mozambique. The farmers wear the hard work of maize and coffee harvesting in their torn clothing and on their faces-their eyes are strong and often hard, recalling Dorothea Lange's migrant mother. Some women sheath themselves in plastic to keep their clothes free of dirt, while others pin many layers of fabric together to make aprons. Sinanzeni, a tomato picker, wears a natty red dress with green Wellingtons. Cedric, a tea pruner, is barefoot and in rags, and Nickerson cuts him off at the waist, irrevocably connecting him to the earth. A former fashion photographer, Nickerson manipulates the color in some of the 98 images so that the tints are reminiscent of 19th-century portraiture, an effect that gives her subjects a dignified distance from the camera. The results are extraordinary, serving to transmit Nickerson's awareness that she is not able to render her subjects (or their suffering) fully, while at the same time allowing her subjects' humanity and beauty to shine through their circumstances.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
After two and a half years in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malawi, and Mozambique, Nickerson, an experienced, Boston-born fashion photographer, compiled this photographic collection of African agricultural workers in their daily routines. Mainly portraits, the photographs present their subjects with befitting simplicity and dignity. Their hardened frames, tested bodies, and vibrant spirit tell a continent's tale of economic want and unfading hope. Nickerson registers everything about her... read more
In a photographic language that is original, and that resonates with the dignity of her subjects, Jackie Nickerson's stylish, strangely beautiful portraits of African farm workers are a testament to grace and human invention in the face of daily toil.