Sunday, June 6, 2010
We meet the people of the past through their choices. Not just the shoes on their feet or the hat on their head, but how they held and carried themselves.
The people in these photographs are a reminder of something as significant as attraction, notably, liberation.
Liberation can mean believing one does not have to follow the rules or norms but does so anyway. Fashion speaks to this idea often. For the workers on the dam, they too had opportunity for liberation. Surprisingly, it was often by the clothes they wore.
Whether it was choosing the expensive brown Boulder cords, Blue Levi's or Apache leather boots, for a worker to head off to the company store, whip out the scrip (wages paid with credit from the store) it was the choice that mattered. The choice to buy what felt good and seemingly looked fine for the times, and often to each other. A worker didn't have to buy these things yet they represented a kind of liberation that often was not denied.
Without scrip, but dollars or plastic cards, it matters not, we are instilled with the spirit of liberation. And as insidious as it seems, fashion webs us to the attractive past as we find the attractive present--by how we hold and carry ourselves. With the kind of pride learned through the premium of choice.