THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACE: A Photo-Life Interview with Laurence Butet-Roch

Photo-Life: Your Guide to Everything Photo – Oct/Nov 2017

Photographer, educator and writer Laurence Butet-Roch interviewed me about my work and its relationship to place. Some of my recent academic  and visual work has been looking at the relationship between notions of space and place (landscape) and photography on the North American prairies.


“Interested in exploring these questions and noticing the dearth of visual representation of the spaces west of Ontario, he has been building a photo trilogy that looks at different geographical constructs. Out Westwas made travelling through a hundred communities of fewer than a thousand people in the Canadian West, from Manitoba to British Columbia. Crown Ditch and the Prairie Castlefocuses on the Midwest, north and south of the border, namely Alberta, Saskatchewan and Montana. And his latest project, yet to be titled, zeros in on his hometown of Mundare. “Regionalisms do exist. In many ways, it might be more potent than any sense of national identity. Geography very much shapes the culture and economy of a place. The landscape of the Prairies was well-suited for farming, which in turn, very much defined the community’s character,” he muses. Moreover, people are known to form strong, unconscious emotional bonds with the places they’re most familiar with.”

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