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In-Different Light: The Images


Whenever I see lines of laundry animating time-honored landscapes, something exciting happens to me. So, while on a sabbatical in Northern India in 2003, I entered into a pact with myself. The only shots I would expose with my new digital camera would contain the shadowy slopes and drifting folds of daily laundry. Throughout most of the world hand-washed laundry is not hard to find. (Industrialized countries are the drab exceptions.) There is an ageless panorama that the presence of laundry provides. There is a grace in the fabrics' folds that mutes the distant battle echoes of monuments and muscular bridges. Laundry's diaphanous threads turn history-worn spaces into peaceful terrains. As a documentary filmmaker, writer, and video artist, for the past three decades I have attempted to help redefine the status of places that women occupy in their societies and in the home. These images affirm the task and the beauty of their hand-washed laundry. As I see it, in every country and culture, laundry is always the common language spoken that calls out for human dignity.

See the full-sized slideshow here.