Carnival Strippers Revisited | Susan Meiselas’ Photo Essay From 1976

Carnival Strippers, originally a photo essay following the women who performed in travelling ‘girl shows’ in the United States from 1972 to 1975, is often held as a pioneering example of a photographic project that shares authorship with the subjects of its images.

Interrogating gender politics and self-representation, the project is defined as much by the testimonies of the women involved as the photographs Meiselas took of them. The project sought to make a feminist argument which resounds particularly today as the project celebrates 50 years since its making.

A third edition publication of the project, published as ‘Carnival Strippers Revisited’ now unfolds the central themes of the work through the additional of new material. Published on Steidl, it includes unseen color photographs, contact sheets, handwritten field notes, and interview transcriptions. Carnival Strippers Revisited explores how representation of ourselves and others is a process that refracts through many layers. In these layers, the creation of our stories is a collective activity mediated by multiple and far-reaching points of view.

In this new video, we share audio material from Meiselas’ interviews with the strippers and other carnival workers. Through testimonies not traditionally represented within the women’s liberation movement, the showgirls’ answers lucidly deconstruct the workings of patriarchy. At the same time, their managers’ disparaging comments provide a poignant and ironic counterpoint.

Meiselas, who sought to document a phenomenon already in decline, was interested in the ways we capture history from early on during her career. With this new expansion on Carnival Strippers, we see the project as a forerunner to her later explorations of archives in her works in Nicaragua and Kurdistan. Read curator Abigail Soloman-Godeau’s essay contextualising the photographer’s practice here.

Susan Meiselas is an American photographer who was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1948. Her first major project, which we’ll look at here focused on the lives of women doing striptease at New England country fairs. Meiselas photographed at the fairs for three consecutive summers while also teaching photography in New York public schools. Carnival Strippers was published in 1976.

Speaking of the project, Meiselas said, “From 1972 to 1975, I spent my summers photographing and interviewing women who performed striptease for small town carnivals in New England, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. As I followed the girl shows from town to town, I photographed the dancers’ public performances as well as their private lives. I also taped interviews with the dancers, their boyfriends, the show managers, and paying customers.”

“The women I met ranged in age from seventeen to thirty-five. Most had left small towns, seeking mobility, money and something different from what was prescribed or proscribed by their lives that the carnival allowed them to leave. They were runaways, girlfriends of carnies, club dancers, both transient and professional. They worked out of a traveling box, a truck that unfolded to form two stages, one opening to the public carnival grounds, another concealed under a tent for a private audience. A dressing room stands between them. Again and again, throughout the day and night, the woman performers moved from the front stage, with its bally call—the talker’s spiel that entices the crowd—to the stage, where they each perform for the duration of a 45 pop record.”

“The all-male audience typically included farmers, bankers, fathers, and sons, but “no ladies and no babies.” The degree of suggestion on the front stage and participation on the back stage under the tent varied greatly from town to town, depending on legislation and local leniency. The show stayed at each spot for three to five days each year; then the carnival was torn down, the truck packed up, and the women followed.”

In her introduction to Carnival Strippers, Meiselas said, “The girl show is a business and carnival stripping is competitive and seasonal. Those women who make it a career find winter employment on a series of related circuits—go-go bars, strip clubs, stag parties, and occasional prostitution. For most women the carnival is an interlude on the way to jobs as waitresses, secretaries and housewives.”

New York City Removes Its Last Payphone From Service In Favor Of High-Speed Wi-Fi Kiosks To Meet Daily Communication Needs

It’s the end of an era: New York City removed its last public payphone on Monday.

The boxy enclosures were once an iconic symbol across the city. But the rise of cellphones made the booths obsolete.

The effort to replace public pay telephones across the city kicked off in 2014 when the de Blasio administration solicited proposals to reimagine the offering, the city’s Office of Technology and Innovation said in a news release.

Officials selected CityBridge to develop and operate LinkNYC kiosks, which offer services such as free phone calls, Wi-Fi and device charging. The city began removing street payphones in 2015 to replace them with the LinkNYC kiosks.

There are nearly 2,000 kiosks across the city, according to a map from LinkNYC.

“Just like we transitioned from the horse and buggy to the automobile and from the automobile to the airplane, the digital evolution has progressed from payphones to high-speed Wi-Fi kiosks to meet the demands of our rapidly changing daily communications needs,” Commissioner Matthew Fraser said in the release.

The last public pay telephone will be displayed at the Museum of the City of New York as part of an exhibit looking back at life in the city before computers.

Source: CNBC

Adidas Shares Bare-Chested Advertisement And #SupportIsEverything Campaign For New Extensive Range Of Sports Bras: ‘It’s Important To Normalize The Human Body’

Adidas just released a bold new ad for their new sports bra collection.

On Feb. 9, the retailer took to Twitter to share a grid photo of 25 different pairs of bare breasts as a way to illustrate how every body is different.

“We believe women’s breasts in all shapes and sizes deserve support and comfort,” Adidas captioned the post. “Which is why our new sports bra range contains 43 styles, so everyone can find the right fit for them.”

They also linked out to the new collection, alongside the hashtag #SupportIsEverything.

The reactions to the new ad on Twitter were mixed. Some celebrated the message, with one Twitter user writing, “This is major. Well done Adidas!” Another shared, “As a father of two daughters that played sports this is way overdue. Thank you. A lot of girls give up sports because they can’t find the right fit to stay comfortable.”

However, not everyone was as thrilled. One person wrote, “I’m all for boobies and positivity but like … what are they selling? Shouldn’t it at least show how their ‘body-positive’ bras support all different kinds of boobies? Or is this just another shock ad designed only to generate revenue by using women’s bodies? Exhausting.”

The same user then tweeted a photo of Adidas’s collection, which features women of relatively the same size and shape.

Another added, “It’s just a REALLY good thing I didn’t scroll by this while in an office setting. And, yes, I believe the human body is beautiful, it doesn’t mean I need or want to see the parts meant for their husbands and babies.”

The brand defended their ad in several follow-up tweets, writing, “It’s important to normalize the human body and help inspire future generations to feel confident and unashamed.”

They also added, “It’s perfectly natural to have breasts. We are happy to celebrate that and won’t be taking this down so we can keep doing so,” and, “We want future generations to feel body-confident, which is why this gallery is so important to share.”

Adidas isn’t the first major company to make a push for inclusivity. Recently, Victoria’s Secret underwent a major rebranding campaign, in which they launched the VS Collective — a group of individuals like Priyanka Chopra, Megan Rapinoe, Bella Hadid, Amanda de Cadenet and Adut Akech — to replace their Victoria’s Secret Angels. The push was made to honor the diversity of bodies, ethnicities and genders.

Source: Yahoo

Kelly Price: My Sister Tried To Seize My Money As I Almost Died From COVID

In this clip, Kelly Price talks about the coming together of her core family members for the making of an album that was inspired by Christmas. She also explains that the reason why she can no longer listen to the tracks anymore is because nearly everyone from those recordings have passed away, since the LP was made. The New York native also shares the details about her first album release after she left Def Jam and that she left the label’s subsidiary, Def Soul, because of her lackluster working relationship with L.A. Reid. Kelly Price goes on to talk about the inspiration behind her first live gospel album. Lastly, the R&B crooner talks about partaking in Tyler Perry’s play  “Why Did I Get Married” and what it was like to tour with the cast of the production.

Kelly Price also addresses the lawsuits that she was hit with by numerous promoters due to the cancellation of multiple shows. She explains that the reason behind the cancellations was a combination because of random “acts of God” and the fact that she contracted COVID-19. She added that the severity of these occurrences caused her to lose money because of smear campaigns at the hands of the promoters. Lastly, Kelly Price explains that she nearly became a victim of a conservatorship by members of her own family, because her health was deteriorating and they didn’t want her estate to go to her husband in the event that she passed away.

Van Lathan And Vlad Argue About Los Angeles Being “Fake”

In this clip, Van Lathan spoke about moving to Los Angeles in 2005 and being determined to make his own way. When Vlad spoke about his experience living in L.A. for the first time and feeling like it was fake, Van explained that he sees a lot of people falling into the same trap because they get caught up in what they believe is the L.A. lifestyle. Van then detailed how he took the bus to his first job at a video game company, and he added that he met a lot of real L.A. people by interacting in his community. From there, Van spoke about how people succeed in L.A. by sticking it out and figuring out their own way. To hear more, including Van speaking about celebrities tricking him into not being filmed for TMZ, hit the above clip.

Black Lives Matter NY Loses All Credibility After Restaurant Releases Footage

The owner of a popular Manhattan restaurant stands by his employee on Friday and blasted the three African-American women from Texas charged with attacking the restaurant’s hostess for demanding to see proof they were vaccinated against COVID-19.

The incident happened last Thursday when three African-American women from Texas decided to dine at Carmine’s, a popular Italian restaurant in Manhattan. All three women showed proof of vaccination—which is a New York City requirement now—and were allowed to enter the restaurant.

However, three male friends of the African-American women showed up a little later and were refused entry because they did not show proof of vaccination. The party as a whole was offered seats outside instead.

The women claim the 24-year-old Asian-American hostess who refused entry to the male party was being “rude” and said the “N-word” before lunging at them first.

A viral video shows the group of African-American women physically assaulting the Asian-American hostess while she’s screaming, “Oh my god, what the f**k!?”

49-year-old Sally Recehelle Lewis of Houston, 44-year-old Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, and 21-year-old Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, both of Humble, Texas, were charged with assault and criminal mischief. The three women were released without bail soon after.

In response, Black Lives Matter New York uploaded an Instagram post stating they will protest Carmine’s on Monday, September 20, and falsely stated the hostess who started it all was “White.”

On Monday, over 30 members of Black Lives Matter gathered in front of Carmine’s and chanted “Cancel Carmine’s,” while demanding African-American customers to leave the restaurant.

“After she dropped the N-bomb, the three women did a double-take and followed her out the restaurant,” stated Hawk Newsome, co-founder of Black Lives Matter New York.

Newsome and his cohorts demanded Carmine’s release security footage of the incident and claimed the restaurant was covering up the truth.

Carmine’s almost immediately released the footage to the local media, which clearly shows the three African-American women follow the Asian-American hostess outside and attack her without provocation.

Many witnesses state the women were bitter the other half of their party were not allowed to enter the restaurant and basically got angry they didn’t get what they wanted. No racial slur was ever heard leading up to the vicious attack or during it.

During Monday’s protest, members of Blacks Lives Matter can be heard screaming “We’ll teach you Whites and Asian people a lesson.”

Source: Asian Dawn