Knife Fight City

Photographer

Richard Steven Street

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Concept

Knife Fight City explores an unacknowledged variety of American apartheid in Huron, poorest town in California, where an American peasantry slaves for industrialized agriculture in a giant farm labor exploitation camp. Huron does not have a newspaper, Burger King, Little League, high school, or Chamber of Commerce; it does have six labor camps, 5 bars, and two gangs, the Norteños and Bulldogs, who shoot one another on site and vie for control of the drug trade. Located in the southwestern corner of Fresno County, the richest agricultural county on the planet, Huron’s politics are bloody – one mayor had his automobile shot up by an AK-47; a councilwoman’s home was bombed; another mayor died in prison. Huron is the only town in Westlands Water District (WWD), whose multibillion dollar corporate empires are the antithesis of the settled, family-oriented landscape that originally justified the Roman Aqueduct-sized canal that irrigates surrounding farms.

Biography


Richard Steven Street is an academically-trained historian, fluent in the commercial and journalistic idioms, who deliberately veered from the anointed path in order submerge in the contemporary side of the fields and subjects that are his special passion and expertise. He is trying to carry on, extend, and amplify the work of Dorothea Lange, only in color, perhaps with a harder visual edge, keep alive the tradition of documentary and concerned photography at a time when it seems in eclipse, and apply it through substantial works that focus on all facets of the ever-changing environment in rural California.

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