Southern Rites

Southern Rites

4.25 (4 ratings by Goodreads)
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Southern Rites is an original and provocative 12-year visual study of one community's struggle to confront longstanding issues of race and equality.
In May 2009, the New York Times Magazine published a photo-essay by Gillian Laub entitled "A Prom Divided," which documented Georgia's Montgomery County High School's racially segregated prom rituals. Laub's photographs ignited a firestorm of national outrage and led the community to finally integrate. One year later, there was newfound hope--a historic campaign to elect the county's first African American sheriff. But the murder of a young black man--portrayed in Laub's earlier prom series--by a white town patriarch reopened old wounds.
Through her intimate portraits and firsthand testimony, Laub reveals in vivid color the horror and humanity of these complex, intertwined narratives. The photographer's inimitable sensibility--it is the essence and emotional truth of the singular person in front of her lens that matters most--ensures that, however elevated the ideas and themes may be, her pictures remain studies of individuals; a chronicle of their courage in the face of injustice, of their suffering and redemption, possessing an unsettling power.
Gillian Laub (born 1975) crafts striking personal portraits, whether she is photographing her own family in Mamaroneck, New York, or victims of violence in the Middle East. In May 2015, the documentary Southern Rites--Laub's directorial debut--will premiere on HBO, examining the aftermath of the publication of Laub's photographs of Montgomery County and her own role in the events.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 160 pages
  • 250 x 296 x 42mm | 1,079.98g
  • Bologna, Italy
  • English
  • 8862084137
  • 9788862084130
  • 2,905,168

Review quote

Laub's portraits of the people she met and the stories they told is an eye-opener for our "post-racial' society and the dimension this recounting brings to the conversation is nuanced and real.--Molly Roberts " " Laub's intimate portraits...speak to pride, suffering, anger, and love.--Jan Gardner " " Powerful images augmented with an informative and inherently fascinating commentary make "Gillian Laub: Southern Rites" a critically important contribution...Indeed, "Gillian Laub: Southern Rites" could well serve as a template for similar photographic studies of other American communities and social issues.--James A. Cox "The Midwest Bookreview " Laub's work also proffers a tantalizing hope: that through such American high schoolers, bedazzled in sequins and satin and dancing at their only recently integrated prom, true societal transformation and justice may come.--Laura Mallonee "Hyperallergic " In Southern Rites, Laub has perceptively and empathetically portrayed the individuals behind the events in Mount Vernon. In turn, our understanding of these events becomes nuanced in a way that may be useful when considering the larger, enduring problem of racism in the U.S. Southern Rites isan important and timely documentary, demanding the viewer to look and listen in a way that lingers long after the gowns, tuxes, and corsages have been put away.--Hilary Reid "Brooklyn Rail " Laub was able to photograph the 2011 and 2012 integrated proms at Montgomery County High, and the photos... trace the evolution of the iconic high school event in this corner of the South.--Hayley MacMillen "Refinery29 " Southern Rites...explores racial issues and tension that are deeply rooted in the area.--David Rosenberg "Slate " In addition to showcasing her nuanced photographs, [Southern Rites] uses artifacts, letters, transcripts, and narrative to further illuminate the story of a community rife with injustice, complicity, and occasionally some hope as well.--Elisa Albert "Tablet "
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About Gillian Laub

Gillian Laub's first monograph, Testimony, was published by Aperture in 2007, to critical acclaim. This body of work is comprised of portraits and interviews from Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs and Palestinians all directly and indirectly affected by the second Intifada. Laub is a recipient of the Aaron Siskind Fellowship and Jerome Foundation Grant. She is represented by Benrubi Gallery and contributes to many publications such at TIME Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. Southern Rites is also Laub's first feature documentary film airing on HBO in May 2015.
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Rating details

4 ratings
4.25 out of 5 stars
5 50% (2)
4 25% (1)
3 25% (1)
2 0% (0)
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