On this episode, we’re getting literary, sort of. We’ll be talking to Ariela Badenas about her photography and her new book There Is Nothing Remarkable About This Place. We’ll then be hitting the traveling fair circuit to talk about Susan Meiselas and her project from the mid 70s – Carnival Strippers. We’ve also got the answering machine question and a couple of zine reviews!
We open with Vania talking about some hard times and some good times too. She also pinpoints the fun part about film photography. Meanwhile, Eric talks about his bad photo weekend full of bad photos. And guess who dropped his camera.
Also, according to math, it’s our three year anniversary.
If you’ve listened to our podcast more than a couple of times, you’ll recognize the name: Ariela Badenas, aka Arielaaaaaaa! She’s just published her first book, There is Nothing Remarkable About this Place.
We just as much fun as we thought we’d have talking to her.
Buy her book! https://www.arielab.ca/shop
Here are a few of the photos that we talked about from her book:
By the 1960s, every traveling carnival had one or more strip shows going on towards the back of the fair grounds all through the night. They reached their apex in the mid-1970s, just when photographer Susan Meiselas was beginning her career.
Susan Meiselas was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1949. She received her Masters from Harvard studying under documentary photographer Barbara Norfleet. It was her first and only photography course.
Susan began this three-year-long adventure in 1973. She brought with her the self-awareness that she was the outsider. Her upbringing and Harvard education placed her essentially in a different class from the women she was photographing.
She even admitted that it was her “first real experience with the working class.” Growing up, Maiselus had the privilege of choices. What she found at the carnival were often women who had few.
Regardless, Susan approached the workers without the desire to exploit them or glorify them. She photographed and recorded them as they were, and as they wanted to be photographed and recorded.
This was in many ways a collaboration with the workers. She gained their trust by simply being herself and allowing them to express the same. Her photographs are not sentimental or contrived. There is no hint of the “male gaze” from her camera (only from the men she also photographed).
On this piece, we essentially review and look at the book (and project) Carnival Strippers, recently released in its third edition.
Here are a very few of the photos we can show you…
We seem to review a new issue of Better Off every couple of episodes. And while they’re all pretty special, this one hits home. It’s Better Off #7 by Brandy B, who’s been a guest of ours on a couple of different episodes.
Brandy is, of course @film_diary_of_a_redhead on IG. And this zine features all halfframe diptychs.
For those that don’t know, a half frame is just that – half of a 35mm frame. There are an assortment of cameras that shoot that format. This gives you double the photos per roll, turning a 36 exposure roll into an incredibly unwieldy 72 exposures.
What Brandy does with this is a little different. She pairs photos as she shoots, scanning both together as one photo with two images side by side, separated by a black frame. This allows for a bit of creative juxtaposition or contextualization that would otherwise be… not impossible, but slightly less convenient.
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THE CREDITS OF ENDING
Music by Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers