Essential Worker by Eric Cousineau

Seeing Labor

Essential Worker by Eric Cousineau

Francisco. Meat department associate, El Paisano Supermarket. Santa Fe, NM, 2020.

Francisco. Meat division affiliate, El Paisano Grocery store. Santa Fe, NM, 2020.

Eric Cousineau

Eric Cousineau is a single father of two who works full time at Dealer Joe’s in Santa Fe. He’s what we name an “essential worker,” a time period that has solely just lately surfaced in our frequent vernacular. It means the individuals with out whom the infrastructure of the nation would collapse and we might all starve to demise. Truck drivers. Nurses. Butchers. Even newspaper artwork critics, although that final one is actually open to debate.

Cousineau can also be a photographer, with a BFA and an inventory of exhibit credit to his title. He was approached by a few of the people at Heart in Santa Fe to start out the Essential Worker mission figuring out that he was each a gifted portrait photographer and that he labored at a grocery store. The unique intent was to have him {photograph} his fellow workers, however that concept fell flat with Dealer Joe’s company workplace. After receiving equally dismissive attitudes from different skittish company varieties, he discovered simply strolling as much as individuals and asking if he may take their image a extra profitable method. The result’s a various and rising assortment of black and white images that doc the important employees right here in New Mexico. God forbid some company permits individuals to see that.

What is crucial in understanding Cousineau’s work is his perspective. There have been a number of wonderful initiatives photographing important employees revealed over the previous couple of months, however what units Cousineau’s work aside is that he tells his topics he works at Dealer Joe’s, not the New York Instances. Photographer and topic share a typical expertise: the fixed menace of being uncovered to a lethal virus with a view to do fundamental jobs to supply for themselves, their household and, actually, the remainder of the world. You possibly can see that relationship within the images.

This Labor Day will probably be with out the parades, BBQs and double-headers on the ballpark. We’ll in all probability all simply be dwelling, besides the important employees, in fact. This Labor Day is a chance to have a look at employees another way than we now have earlier than and take into account a couple of fundamental questions. Who is crucial? How will we deal with and compensate people who we will’t do with out? Has the elemental relationship between capital and labor modified in America, and what’s going to that seem like ought to we ever get out from below this wretched pandemic? Possibly it’s time to start out seeing all employees in a brand new gentle. We are able to thank Eric Cousineau for displaying us their perspective, and his, by means of his lens.

See extra of Cousineau’s work and observe the Essential Worker Undertaking on his web site, ericcousineauphotography.com

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