Shifting Constellations–Shifting Narratives? Issues of Intersectionality in Annemarie Schwarzenbach’s Photography from the U.S. South

Verena R. Kick


The article takes a photo by Annemarie Schwarzenbach, depicting Black and white children in Savannah, GA, as a starting point to examine the ways in which its internal discourse of race, labor, and gender shifts when it is compared to its external discourse, informed by the photo’s various publication contexts. For instance, in the Swiss Literary Archive’s folder, the photo’s Black children are mirrored by the succeeding photo’s white vagrants. In contrast, in a digital visualization of Schwarzenbach’s journeys, the key image is juxtaposed with a photo of white farmers. In both contexts the intersectionality of race, labor, and gender is foregrounded, which corresponds to the photo’s original external discourse in Savannah where Schwarzenbach documented racial segregation. The argument unfolds how changing publication contexts reinforce a photo’s intersectional narrative, while also revealing Schwarzenbach’s elaborate understanding of the intersection of race, labor, and gender in her photographs of the U.S. South. (VK).

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