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Artist ID: 2220

Photographed at a critical moment of pandemic, protest, and political polarization, "What Has Been Will Be Again" has led me across more than 15,000 miles and 50 counties to bear witness to generational racial, ecological, and economic injustice in Alabama. From Native American genocide to slavery and secession, and from the fight for civil rights to the championing of Trumpist ideology, the national history written on, in, and by the people and landscapes of my home state reveal problematic patterns at the nexus of our larger American identity.
Social isolation is both a phrase and experience that has defined the past year, and "What Has Been Will Be Again" expressly evokes the alienation that has characterized the moment. Yet the work features sites for which isolation and violence is nothing new—places where extracted labor and environmental exploitation have exacted heavy tolls. Such isolation is less accidental or temporal, and more a product of decades of willful neglect by a mainstream America only now starting to visualize what—and who—has been pushed out of our collective frame of vision. By tracing historic colonial routes including the Old Federal Road and Hernando de Soto’s 1540 expedition, the project illustrates the perpetuated segregation and sequestration masked by white supremacist myths of American exceptionalism and reckons a haunting yet tender look at my home state’s troublesome past and tenuous present.

Jared Ragland (MFA, Tulane University) is a fine art and documentary photographer and former White House photo editor. Utilizing a range of photographic tactics including reportage and historical processes, filmmaking and bookmaking, and image/text relationships, his visual practice critically confronts issues of identity, marginalization, and history of place through social science, literary, and historical research methodologies.

Jared is the photo editor of National Geographic Books’ "The President’s Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office," and he has worked on assignment for NGOs in the Balkans, the former Soviet Bloc, East Africa, and Haiti. In 2015, Jared was named one of TIME magazine’s “Instagram Photographers to Follow in All 50 States.” He is a 2020 Magnum Foundation grantee, 2020-21 Do Good Fund Artist-in-Residence, 2021 Photolucida Critical Mass Top 50 photographer, and 2022 Columbus State Visiting Artist-in-Residence.

Jared’s work has been exhibited internationally, with recent shows at The Front (New Orleans, La.), Candela Books + Gallery (Richmond, Va.), the In/Out Transylvania Foto Festival (Cluj, Romania), Birmingham Museum of Art SHIFT space (Birmingham, Ala.), The National Geographic Society (Washington, D.C.), and the Royal Geographic Society (London, UK). He has produced three artist books under his collaborative publishing platform, One Day Projects, which can be found in collections including the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, Birmingham Museum of Art, Contemporary Art Center New Orleans, and the Phoenix Art Museum. Jared’s photographs have been featured by The New Yorker, New York Times, The Washington Post, Vanity Fair Italia, Forbes, and The Oxford American, and his visual ethnographic research has been published in more than a dozen social science textbooks and high-impact journals, including the first photographs to ever be published in the flagship social sciences journal, Criminology. His first film, Some Million Miles, (co-directed with Adam Forrester) received the Reel South Short Award at the 2019 Sidewalk Film Festival and is currently distributed by PBS.

Jared currently serves as Assistant Professor of Photography at Utah State University.

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