August 25, 2012 Author: Louisa Marie Summer
Jennifer is a 26-year-old, second-generation Puerto Rican woman living in dilapidated South Providence, Rhode Island. Through documentary photography and supporting texts based on interviews, the story is told of Jennifer’s experience as an illiterate woman with four children and a partner, surviving on disability and unemployment support. Unsentimental but sympathetic, the images show the chaos of her busy household, full of bodies and movement. Children, adults and pets fill the frame of the photos, alongside stained furniture and carpets, toys thrown amok, food packaging discarded on the floor or in corners, and other evidence of a life overwhelmed by clutter. Through it all is the pervasive sense of the importance of family, of fun and affection, even in hardship.
Jennifer’s Family is available for sale by Schilt Publishing.
Reviewed by Katherine Oktober Matthews.