A Small Voice: Conversations With Photographers

075 - Matt Black

Episode Summary

Matt Black is an associate member of Magnum Photos whose work has explored the connections between migration, poverty, agriculture, and the environment in his native rural California and in southern Mexico. He has photographed over one hundred communities across 44 U.S. states for his project The Geography of Poverty. Other recent works include The Dry Land, about the impact of drought on California’s agricultural communities, and The Monster in the Mountains, about the disappearance of 43 students in the southern Mexican state of Guerrero. Both of these projects, accompanied by short films, were published by The New Yorker. Matt is a contributor to the @everydayusa photographers’ collective and has produced video pieces for msnbc.com, Orion Magazine, and The New Yorker. He has taught photography with the Foundry Photojournalism Workshops, the Eddie Adams Workshop, Leica Fotografie International, and the Los Angeles Center of Photography. Anastasia Photo gallery in New York represents his prints. He became a Magnum nominee in 2015 and an Associate Member in 2017. He was named as Time's Instagram Photographer of the Year in 2014 having only started using the platform the previous year. He received the W. Eugene Smith Award in 2015. In 2016, he received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and was named a Senior Fellow at the Emerson Collective. His work has also been honored by the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and others. In episode 075, Matt discusses, among other things: Working on home soil in ‘the other California’, The Central Valley His newspaper apprenticeship - "a wonderful introduction" to what he would end up doing... Personal projects - deciding if he couldn’t do it on his terms he didn’t want to do it at all His transition from film to digital The Geography of Poverty Editing and sequencing The Monster in the Mountains How he creates his distinctive aesthetic Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram “To me at this point, what photography is about, the only thing I care about when it comes to my work or other people’s work is ‘what is this person trying to say?’, ‘what lies behind all this?’. That’s what I respond to in work is, ‘what is this person trying to say and is it being done honestly or is their something deceptive about it or is there some kind of corner cutting or is it too clever? Those are the things that influence me. It doesn’t matter [whether it’s] colour, black and white, digital, conceptual, documentary. It’s the spirit behind it that moves me.” THIS EPISODE OF THE PODCAST IS SPONSORED BY THE CHARCOAL BOOK CLUB - THE LATEST AND GREATEST PHOTOBOOKS, EXPERTLY CURATED AND DELIVERED TO YOU DOOR WITH FREE SHIPPING AND NO HASSLES. \*\*VERY SPECIAL LISTENER OFFER\*\* USE CODE 'ASMALLVOICE' TO CLAIM A FREE BOOK OF YOUR CHOICE WHEN YOU JOIN!!! https://charcoalbookclub.com - INFORM THE MIND, INSPIRE THE SOUL