Wednesday, April 24, 2002

“Twilight in Arcadia: Tobacco Farming in Indiana” - Indiana Historical Society – April 24, 2002 – 3 1/2 stars

Poignant photographic extractions, pulled from a book of the same name by Butler University's Susan Neville, depict the life of laborers who work Indiana tobaccoland. Tyagan Miller, a Bloomington-based photojournalist, brings to life the drudgery migrant workers from El Salvador and Mexico confront and the social issues that ensue on tobacco farms in New Washington, Ind. It portrays, in part, the new era of immigration. As a quote from the show reads, "I get American boys, I have to bail them out of jail. The Mexican boys come in, they work eight and a half hours, and they whistle when they leave the fields." Those "boys" are 18-45 years old. The crisp black and white images exhibited are powerful storytellers. Shot by shot, the tobacco fields are chronicled and probed through harvest time. Fortunately, the small exhibit's dialogue is presented in both English and Spanish. Taken from March 1998 through January 1999, they capture a timely piece of Indiana's farming heritage. The book, containing 75 photos, is available at the IHS's bookstore for $24.95. Call 317-234-0026 or e-mail Through June 2, 2002; 317-232-1882. – Mary Lee Pappas

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