The Greatest Lie

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This block was created around the theme of agriculture, an industry inextricably linked to slavery in both the Caribbean and the United States. To echo themes of agriculture, the artist included images of the cotton plant, as well as organic shapes which resemble flowers, seeds, and other found natural objects. Corn kernels, buttons, and leaves unite the realms of the home and the outdoors, as was often the case on a working plantation. The center photograph depicts slaves on a cotton plantation engaging in agricultural work, however the workers are not in motion but are posted in a triangular composition facing the photographer. The second photograph is also from a plantation, yet the subjects are household workers as opposed to field hands. These images both show life on the plantation, but only to an extent; they are purposefully arranged and therefore tell a very different story than a candid photograph might tell. These juxtaposed images are symbolic representations of the censorship applied to stories of slavery in American culture and education.