Many British Columbians have already seen Bill Horne‘s “Solidarity” photo series depicting loggers, miners, pulp mill workers, farmers (and hunters, still to come) speaking out in public support of the arts. The whole photo essay can also be seen in our previous post here. Bill’s moving photographs have done exactly what Bill hoped they would do, which is to demonstrate the crucial role of the arts in smaller communities as well as to disrupt widely-held stereotypes, both about the arts and about resource and rural workers. It’s hard to think of another example of art or communication in British Columbia that has so effectively cut through our most stubborn stereotypical ideas of who we actually are as a province, a culture and a people. Bill has a long background in community arts work and has been an extremely active community volunteer. He explains below his motivation for his photo series:
I started this series to illustrate our interconnectedness at a time when the BC government has made drastic cuts to arts funding, diverted gaming money from non-profits, and is trying to pit artists against the neediest of society.
I also wanted to break some insidious stereotypes: of working class people as “red necks” who aren’t involved in the arts; of the arts as inherently “elitist,” It seemed like a good time to revive that rusty, but trusty concept of solidarity. Eventually I want to set up a reflection of solidarity back from artists in various disciplines…
I’m very proud of all the people in these photos, and grateful for their participation in this project.
If you are interested in being in a photo shoot, please contact me via mazing at claireart dot ca. I am particularly interested in gathering more images of people in industrial trades and resource extraction.
Splash page image:
Bruce Self’s old Studebaker truck door, Tatlayoko Lake: a bit worn, but still solid.