American West •  Chicano/Chicana •  Photography •  Politics and Anthropology

$27.95 paperback
978-0-8263-4407-6

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The Migrant Project: Contemporary California Farm Workers


Photographs by Rick Nahmias

The images in this book highlight the lives of the men and women who struggle to exist while literally feeding this country. Countless words and studies over decades bemoan the plight of those who toil in the fields, but Rick Nahmias's pictures bring farm workers to us in an unforgettable way, taking us beyond stoop labor stills and into their intimate moments and inner lives. Having traveled over four thousand miles to document California's migrant workforce, Nahmias's soulful images and incisive text go beyond one state's issues, illuminating the bigger story about the human cost of feeding America.

The Migrant Project includes the images and text of the traveling exhibition of the same name, along with numerous outtakes and an in-depth preface by Nahmias. Accompanied by a Foreword from United Farm Worker co-creator Dolores Huerta, essays by top farm worker advocates, and oral histories from farm workers themselves, this volume should find itself at home in the hands of everyone from the student and teacher, to the activist, the photography enthusiast, and the consumer.


"Every day in the hot fields of California, hundreds of thousands of farmworkers toil for long hours at low pay to provide fruit and vegetables to feed our nation. Most Americans never see the faces of these hard-working men and women, and know little or nothing about the harsh conditions they endure. The Migrant Project has done an extraordinary job documenting these workers' lives. Rick Nahmias's powerful photographs and the beautiful essays of dedicated advocates tell an inspiring story of the farmworkers' historic struggle for the respect, the dignity, and the justice they so obviously deserve."--U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts
"Nahmias's images starkly capture both the humanity of the farm workers who literally feed our country, and the inhumanity of a system which has kept them and their predecessors prisoners to poverty for decades. This book is a testament to the flesh-and-blood cost of feeding America."--Arianna Huffington, author, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, and nationally syndicated columnist

University of New Mexico Press gratefully acknowledges the generous contribution of the Columbia Foundation toward the publication of this book.

For more information on immigrant and migrant worker issues, please access the following organizations:

Farmworker Justice
California Rural Legal Assistance
National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education
National Council for La Raza
International Relations Center Americas Program
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Global Commission on International Migration
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
National Farmworker Ministry
National Rural Funders Collaborative
National Farm Worker Alliance
Southern Poverty Law Center
UMOS
Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice
American Friends Service Committee
AFL-CIO
Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Rick Nahmias is a documentary photographer, writer, and filmmaker whose work has been shown across the United States, Europe, and Asia. His photographs are part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian and reside in several private and public collections across the country..


For more information, visit http://rcnphoto.com

ACCLAIM

"(A) tour de force . . . Children, elderly, former braceros and others find space before the author's camera. The images and the stories behind them are piercing. You will not be able to view them unaffected. . . . The Migrant Project delivers a valuable work on both the personal and political."

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AltReads



"(Nahmias's) photos not only provide faces for the otherwise unknown laborers but also illuminate their daily lives, their hopes and their sorrows, all with dignity and respect."

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EFE Libros



"The poverty and drudgery of California farmworkers are not news, except that Nahmias' photographs provide fresh evidence that their long-lamented hardships and indignities remain much the same as they were when Cesar Chavez began organizing in the Central Valley in the 1960s."

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Los Angeles Times



"The eloquence of Nahmias's black and white photographs are further enhanced by accompanying texts. Together, they begin to paint a picture of this sector of the American experience whose story has been relegated to the shadows....(a) stunning and informative book..."

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Hispanic Magazine



"...a powerful argument for much-needed change."

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Southern California Quarterly




11 x 9 in. 168 pages 16 halftones, 1 maps