Reportage: Research: Nan Golding

An example of Nan Golding’s photography. She spent some of her formative years photographing gay and transexual people.

Nan Golding is an American photographer who, like the other two photographers I’ve just looked at, has a body of work that functions as a cultural archive of sorts. During the 70s, she spent her time in Boston living with and photographing gay and transgender people. Her work The Ballad of Sexual Dependency contained controversial subject material such as drug taking and violence.

Golding’s intimate photography catches people living their lives, whether things are working out or not

Unlike Martin Parr and Tony Ray Jones, who also document social groups and help form cultural archives, Golding’s work shows that sometimes reportage is not simply and exercise in anthropological study, but can help challenge and change how particular groups of people are perceived by the general public.

I would be weary to follow in her footsteps on my BA illustration course. I feel pursuing such ‘hot topics’ is best left to those either on Fine Arts or on the Photography course. I’ve hot my controversy threshold with copyright infringement, thank you very much. Nevertheless, it’s good to be aware of Nan Golding’s contribution to photography and perhaps a greater acceptance of the LG BT community in the world today. Not sure how many of us on the course are going to find a subculture to represent…


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