Hutterite Students - Self-portraits
During an Artist in Residency I engaged with students at the Maple River Hutterite Colony near Ellendale, North Dakota. Hutterite children must attend school taught by North Dakota public school teachers until age sixteen. I gave a presentation to all twenty-five students about my personal relationship with photography. I then asked each student to write a short essay about what photography meant to them. It was an interesting proposition given that Hutterites believe photography is sinful (in accordance with their interpretation of the second commandment in the Christian Bible). I set up a portable studio with backdrop and lights and invited the students to make self-portraits. Since Hutterite's have a negative relationship with photography, I appreciate that doing so was ethically dubious. However, I have never exhibited or published these photographs.