Hands and Feet of American Labor
Words & Images © Alex Ramirez.
The 2016 Presidential elections have stirred up a conversation about racial identity in the United States. In particular, the role of immigrants and the discussion of labor has rallied both supporters and critics, often with very passionate and dangerous rhetoric. In July 2015, for instance, Donald Trump held a rally where he made statements like “They’re taking our jobs. They’re taking our manufacturing jobs. They’re taking our money. They’re killing us.”
Taking a step back, I really analyzed Trump’s words. I dissected them and really internalized them. I asked myself, “Which individuals are the ones that are killing themselves and what jobs are they taking away?”
This collection is a visual representation of my thoughts on this subject. I wanted to truly look into what job occupations cause physical deterioration to the body. This set of photographs shows who is, quite literally, physically killing themselves to survive and live the American dream and values. My images focus on hands and feet to show the impact of their labor to the individual.
YPA 2016 MENTORING PROGRAM: AMERICAN LANDSCAPES
TEAM LOS ANGELES
MENTOR: Slav Zatoka
MENTEE: Alex Ramierz