Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shelby Lee Adams' Discussion Questions

As we mentioned in class, don't feel limited by the discussion questions below -- but rather use them as needed as a starting point for your 450-900 word reflective essay to be posted on your blogs by Wednesday, August 27. Also, please post your 10 {or more} story ideas.


1) What is the photographer's intent? Do you think he accomplishes this?

2) Why did Adams choose Appalachia? What is his investment in this subject?

3) Why are Adams' photographs of Appalachia considered problematic? What are the major issues surrounding his work?

4) How does Adams 'justify' and defend his position as photographer of a very particular view of Appalachia?

5) What kind of historical context does the filmmaker provide the viewer and how does that help frame the 'current' Appalachian environment?

6) Is Adams' making "right what the media made wrong"?

7) Do we read stereotypes ONTO these images, or is Adams exploiting these people as stereotypes?

8) Adams' claims he is "subjectively engaging and involved"--that he is 'challenging' the audience to make us think. What is he making you think?

9) Are Adams' photographs of Appalachia fine art or documentary?

10) Adams' states that he keeps certain photos as 'community service'. What does this mean? Do you think the subjects in his photos have any right to these photos? How do you think his Appalachian subjects should be treated/valued for their contribution to his career as primary subjects?

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