The Red Bandana Series allows viewers to explore the adaptability and diversity of the unseen agricultural workers in North Carolina.  As consumers, it is easy to overlook the physical aspects of farming and the manual labor that cannot be replaced by automation.  Farmers, migrant workers, and machines work in conjunction to supply the world.  Just like a versatile bandana, agricultural workers demonstrate their adaptability on a farm through the myriad of jobs they perform from planting to harvesting to delivering goods to market.

From 2019 to 2021, I traveled to farms in Nash and Halifax counties photographing and talking with agricultural workers.  I met farmers, both young and old, and I listened to their concerns about the future of farming.  I met migrant workers from the Caribbean, Mexico, and Latin America and I learned about their travels throughout North Carolina following planting and harvest seasons.  I met families who wondered if the next generation would carry on the agricultural tradition.  

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Consider the following questions as you explore the exhibit:   

  • What are the challenges of being a farmer?

  • How does a farm function without migrant workers?  

  • Can machines replace human hands in agriculture?  

  • Who will run these farms in the future?    

  • What are the personal stories and journeys behind the hidden faces of agriculture?

Select a painting to learn more:
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