Daily Portfolio by Whitten Sabbatini — Photography Against Segregation

By WHITTEN SABBATINI

The rural South of the United States is a place still haunted and oppressed by segregation. It is a place where, often times, African Americans are viewed as dangerous or pitiful. As an outsider, I am interested in what it looks like to be an African American male living in the same geographic location as myself.

This series of photographs is my acknowledgement and appreciation of a culture of which I am not a part of, but wish to better understand.

Within these photographs, I want the viewer to consider my subjects’ vulnerability when lending themselves to the photographer.

By acknowledging the camera and posing for the photographer, the sitters are actively participating in this act of being photographed.

This act of letting their guard down and trusting the photographer’s intentions is extremely crucial to the work, as I seek to visually deconstruct identity and place in an effort to better understand the rural South.

Whitten Sabbatini is a photographer in Mississippi, U.S. Visit his website or Tumblr page.
The South | Whitten Sabbatini
Cody & Jason | Whitten Sabbatini

The South | Whitten Sabbatini
Timothy & Tim | Whitten Sabbatini

The South | Whitten Sabbatini
James | Whitten Sabbatini

The South | Whitten Sabbatini
Mr. Lin | Whitten Sabbatini

The South | Whitten Sabbatini
Mr. Peterson | Whitten Sabbatini

The South | Whitten Sabbatini
Darrious & Jay | Whitten Sabbatini

The South | Whitten Sabbatini
Tim & Henry | Whitten Sabbatini

The South | Whitten Sabbatini
Bran | Whitten Sabbatini
  • Excellent work Whitten. I like the soft light and slightly dreamy look of a harsh reality. Well done. Your images tell a story, and the people look straight into your eyes — with the exception of the last photography. Your images make me think, I want to know more. That’s what good photography is in part about.

  • Ken Akiva Shapero

    Nice photos but sick of the canard of the Racist South. I lived in the rural south for twenty years and the whites and blacks’ economic life was equally pitiful. I saw no racism ever.

    • Guess cities are moving beyond segregation, but aren’t social and income inequalities also a form of segregation?

  • Ken Akiva Shapero

    It is a hundred times more complicated than that. But it is diffidently NOT segregation. In rural areas it is often lack of opportunity or even lack of ambition. But the same whether you are black or white. Some people just work harder.