Photographer Jackie Nickerson has spent the past few years developing a powerful body of work which examines the physical and psychological effects of working within specific environments in sub-Saharan Africa. Although her focus remains on labour and agricultural environments, her latest project TERRAIN employs an entirely new visual language which marks a move away from the tropes of traditional photojournalism, towards a unique and innovative style of portraiture.
Workers are portrayed within their working environments, but by obscuring their identities Nickerson refuses to merely illustrate statistics and moral indignation, instead employing a reduced artistic language to offer a broad scope for reflection. Nickerson states “TERRAIN is about us in the landscape, how we change the world we inhabit at every moment of our being human, and how, for better and for worse, the world that we make in turn changes who we are.” Through blurring the line between the subject, landscape and commodity, we are reminded that our environment has the power to shape us as much as we can shape it.
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