Christa Olson Archives
25 Posts
Gender & Identity Photo August 29, 2019

Remarkably Everyday Photos of a Gender Creative 9-Year-Old with a Passion for Drag

A gender creative 9-year-old who loves drag: photos that portray gender fluidity as its own norm.

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Christa Olson Photo April 29, 2019

How Climate Change is and isn’t Fueling the U.S. Border Crisis: These Pictures aren’t that Simple

With all the visual attention given to the "caravan," how powerful to see mass migration also depicted by people taking hold of a place.

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Christa Olson Photo December 29, 2018

Slow Violence, Slow Photography: Chris Gregory’s Portrait of Puerto Rico after Maria

How do you photograph systemic failure? Chris Gregory's Puerto Rico portrait does it through juxtaposition, capturing natural calamity and colonial neglect, both fast and slow.

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Immigration/Migration Photo June 18, 2018

On the Border Family Separation Crisis: There are Enough Pictures Now

I know enough to be skeptical that pictures of abuse will call people to action. And yet, that appears to be what is happening right now.

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Christa Olson Photo April 25, 2018

How John Moore’s Brilliant US-Mexico Border Photos Also Migrate

John Moore’s focus is not so much the US-Mexico border itself but the way the line infiltrates the lives of people in every direction.

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Christa Olson Photo February 8, 2018

Portraits of Retired Sex Workers: The Gaze Turned the Other Way

Formerly public women evicted from private space, these retired sex workers are now proudly private and challenge us to recognize it.

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Media & Culture Photo December 17, 2017

Cruel Looking: From Puerto Rico, and Beyond

Showing the bodies of others—be they Puerto Rican children or British Muslims—and stripping them of dignity in full view: this is cruel looking. Knowing it is wrong is part of the plan.

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Christa Olson Photo September 21, 2017

News Photos: Taking 2 Quakes to Feel for Mexico

It took a second devastating earthquake for visual media to focus more intimately on Mexico's suffering. Should it have?

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Christa Olson Photo April 30, 2017

Zombie Trumps at the Border: Risk Goes Both Ways

Analyzing the power in Verónica Cárdenas’s photos of immigrants wearing Trump masks.

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Immigration/Migration Photo March 21, 2017

Border Trash and the Human Stakes of Migration

Migrants and bureaucracy co-exist in these photographs. They become a carnival mirror for border enforcement.

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Christa Olson Photo February 17, 2017

The Size Epidemic. It’s Not Just Trump.

President Trump is not the only one who has turned to magnitude in order to visualize the meaning, purpose, and effects of his presidency.

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Christa Olson Photo January 11, 2017

Take It Down (LEAVE IT UP): On Congress Tiff over Ferguson Painting

Is this art dispute a weird throwback to the culture wars or a sign of things to come?

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Gender & Identity Photo November 21, 2016

What it Means to Look Like a Woman

I fall, again and again, into not seeing breasts in the photographs and so not seeing womanhood.

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Gender & Identity Photo September 29, 2016

Between the Hajj and Hijab: New Picture of Islam for U.S. Audiences

Despite my generally positive reaction to these photo projects, depicting Islamic woman as 'just like us, but in hijab’ is still a limiting picture.

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Christa Olson Photo August 3, 2016

The Visual Politics of Empty Shelves

Photographs of bare stores and starving families fit too neatly into us and them, imagining whole political systems as economically and morally bankrupt.

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Campaign '16 Photo July 22, 2016

Look of the RNC: Bold Prints, Neckties, and Handguns, of Course

I've been thinking about what it means to dress the part at the Republican National Convention.

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Christa Olson Photo July 10, 2016

Police Killings: On the Decision Not to Watch

Whether we watch the videos or not, witnessing requires us to acknowledge that racist violence is there to be seen.

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Christa Olson Photo May 4, 2016

There [Won’t] Be Blood: On the Newsweek Tampon Cover

Here’s the essential product, yes, but apparently even that reminder that most women bleed once a month is sufficiently risky.

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