A local (Vermont/New England) spotlight for my first of the 13 “Almost Famous Farm Women” posts:
In 2013 Amy Anselmo, local artist & media specialist, mover, shaker, mother collaborated to photograph & gather stories of farm women in New England. “Conversations With Farm Women, a Celebration of Beauty and Abundance“ is but one of The Threshold Collaborative’s efforts to integrate “story sharing, photography, video and public art projects to document, explore and learn about issues from the perspective of resident experts – the people living, working and going to school in our communities.” This particular project interviews women farmers with the goal to “share stories, recipes and images that celebrate the Strength, Beauty and Abundance of our Farms and the Women who work the land and encourage others to learn more about farming, food and healthy lifestyles.”
I applaud Amy’s & the Threshold Collaborative’s work because she, they, are part of the movement to move women and agriculture into the light, the conversation, the future, positively. You will enjoy the interviews she has recorded, the photography, the strength, joy & energy of these women and what they bring to their community. My favorite was probably the interview with Jennifer Lawrence, my dairy goat farming neighbor that recently sold their farm and moved. Jennifer came by this past weekend to work the Farmers’ Market and bring me a batch of her homemade goats’ milk soaps. She may not have the 100+ goats anymore, but she’s still making soap.
I also approve that Amy has chosen media to encourage positive attention to women farmers, in contrast to the sad or negative ways that media can shape our lives, our human kind. Small-town production could be our last, best hope for keeping broadcasts ethical, wholesome, honest and healthy.
In the opening chapter of Megan Mayhew Bergman’s latest book, “Almost Famous Women”, she touches on invasive media representations of everyday life. “The Pretty, Grown Together Children”, is more than a report of how conjoined twins, the Hilton Sisters, were a vaudeville & show business sensation in the 1920s:
“There were no secrets. Imagine: you could say nothing, do nothing, eat nothing, touch nothing, love nothing without the other knowing.”
Their lives were shaped and influenced, elevated and destroyed by the public and paparazzi forces. There are ways to be, ways to teach and to cultivate when we encounter new and unusual places, ideas & people. Positive media can enhance and support society, human kind, sustainability, the environment, so much.
Megan treats the Hilton Sisters’ story with honesty and lack of scandal, in which you feel as though you have truly & tragically stepped in their shoes. And this is the type of read you’re offered in her collection that surprises and intrigues, and after plenty of rumination, teaches lessons you hadn’t realized you had yet to learn.
Visit Amy’s project, pre-order that book* I keep telling you about, imagine how you can and will support a positive image for minorities.
P.S.: *Don’t forget the promo-code to be entered in raffle: #AlmostFamousFarmWomen
P.P.S.: You should check out Amy’s Tractor Girl T-Shirts: – I have this image of her a couple of summers ago, going around town with that wood-cut stamp & ink in the back of her car and she’d random-acts-of-kindness give people a Tractor Girl print on their goods. That’s just the type of awesome person she is. Famous for her light in our community.