An interdisciplinary journal about regions, places, and cultures of the US South and their global connections
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  • "No Deadline Short of the Grave": The Photographs of Paul Kwilecki

    Tom Rankin, Duke University

    30 September 2013

    In this illustrated talk at the Decatur (Georgia) Book Festival, August 31, 2013, Tom Rankin discusses his book One Place: Paul Kwilecki and Four Decades of Photographs from Decatur County, Georgia. Kwilecki (1928–2009), a self-taught artist who lived his whole life in Bainbridge, Georgia, took hundreds of masterful black-and-white images of his community over the course of forty years. "I know of no single body of images," comments Rankin, "with a reach and resonance to match what Paul accomplished in Decatur County."



    About the Author

    Tom Rankin is professor of the Practice of Art and Documentary Studies and director of the MFA program in Experimental and Documentary Arts at Duke University. His books include Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta (University Press of Mississippi, 1993), Deaf Maggie Lee Sayre: Photographs of a River Life (University Press of Mississippi, 1995), and Local Heroes Changing America: Indivisible (Norton, 2000), among others. Rankin writes frequently about photography and the documentary tradition and his photographs have been widely exhibited.

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    Recommended Resources


    Agee, James. Cotton Tenants: Three Families. Photographs by Walker Evans. New York: Melville House, 2013.

    Dilbeck, Perry. The Last Harvest: Truck Farmers in the Deep South. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2006.

    Eggleston, William. William Eggleston, 2 1/4. Santa Fe: Twin Palms, 2008.

    Kwilecki, Paul. Understandings: Photographs of Decatur County, Georgia. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1981.

    Rankin, Tom. Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta. Oxford: University Press of Mississippi, 1993.

    ———. "The Cruel Radiance of the Obvious." Southern Cultures 17, no. 2 (2011): 3–23.

    ———. "The Injuries of Time and Weather." Southern Cultures 13, no. 2 (2007): 328.


    Rankin, Tom and Trudy Wilner Stack, directors. Indivisible: Stories of American Community. 2000.

    Richardson, Whitney. "A Life Sold on Photography." The New York Times Blogs: Lens, April 24, 2013.

    Related Southern Spaces Publications

    Christenberry, William. "Place, Time, and Memory." Southern Spaces, September 28, 2007.

    Hale, Grace Elizabeth. "Wounds, Vines, Scratches, and Names: Signs of Return in Southern Photography." Southern Spaces, February 23, 2011.

    Marshall, Nancy and John McWilliams. "Low Country Travelers: An African American Car Club of Charleston County, South Carolina." Southern Spaces, October 21, 2010.

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