LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER
FLINT IS FAMILY ACT III
LOCATION KUNSTVEREIN IN HAMBURG DATE20/05/2022 — 02/10/2022 CURATOR NICHOLAS TAMMENS PHOTOGRAPHY FRED DOTT
As part of the Triennial of Photography Hamburg, the Kunstverein in Hamburg presents Flint is Family, Act III by LaToya Ruby Frazier (*1982), the final part in a series of photographs documenting the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which started in 2014 and continues until today. Through capturing the stories of Flint residents, Frazier shows how industrial and governmental neglect toward the sanctity of the city’s water supply had an immediate impact on community members’ lives. Act III documents the arrival of a 11,793 kilogram atmospheric water generator to Flint in 2019 that Frazier, Cobb and her best friend Amber Hasan managed to set up and operate in the northern side of the city. This third act records people’s reactions to the introduction of the generator, a time which, for many of the city’s younger residents at least, was the first-time clean water had been made readily available in living memory. Through photographs and text, Frazier provides testimonials from residents, telling of their struggle to attain clean drinking water, the health problems caused as a result, and the further impact of this public health crisis on the social fabric of the community. Throughout this presentation, Frazier represents how the impact of industrial and governmental mismanagement on the environment has direct social effects on the communities living there. Expanding on the legacy of the work of Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison, who photographed 1940s Harlem, Frazier approaches injustices of today as a continuation of this social documentary photography that is as formally astute as it is politically forceful. Frazier’s work, which focuses on actively addressing issues of social injustice, labor rights, racism, and environmental pollution in cities plunged into decline by deindustrialization, veritably corresponds with the theme of the 8th Triennale of Photography: currency.