Back to all topics Christa Olson
18 Posts
Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes 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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Notes Photo April 3, 2016

Abortion and Breastfeeding: Both Part of the Ordinary Life of Ordinary Women

Reviewing these photographs while feeding my own newborn, I am reminded that reproductive rights are a crucial part of women balancing work and family.

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Notes Photo February 3, 2016

Has Banksy Approach Run its Course? Future of Images as Tools for Public Argument

From one sad graffiti stencil to the political power and future of visual events.

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Notes Photo December 7, 2015

“Game Changing” Pirelli Calendar Still Exists to Sell Tires to Men

Photographed by Annie Leibovitz, the Pirelli calendar still leads with nakedness, privileges whiteness, and assumes that men are always, inevitably the primary viewers.

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Notes Photo September 24, 2015

From D.C., and The Atlantic / Echosight Project: Mashing the American Dream

In this complex photograph, we see threads of American exceptionalism as well as reaching on the Washington Mall.

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Notes Photo June 23, 2015

I Wanted to Like that NYT Photo Essay About Growing up with Gay Parents

As a parent viewing the photo essay, I felt a rush of defensiveness and worry. As a visual scholar, I wanted to understand why.

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Notes Photo April 28, 2015

Volcanic Exceptionalism: Why America Treats Every Disturbance Abroad Like it’s Looking in a Mirror

People from the United States have been looking at South American volcanoes and seeing them as metaphors for what’s happening at home for at least one hundred and fifty years.

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