Photojournalists to document Marshall

Thursday, September 22, 2005
Pictured is a sampling of images taken during the Missouri Photo Workshop's previous visit to Marshall, in 1967. About 40 photojournalists are expected for this year's workshop in Marshall, the week of Sept. 25 through Oct. 1.

Marshall is about to get a week-long closeup, courtesy of dozens of photographers from around the world participating in this year's Missouri Photo Workshop the week of Sept. 25 through Oct. 1.

About 40 student photographers and free-lance photojournalists will be in town next week to record small town life in the Show-Me State as part of the 57th year of the workshop. Workshop participants also visited Marshall in 1967 and have concentrated on communities such as Sedalia, Lexington and Boonville in the past.

Photographers and workshop faculty will start setting up Friday, with nightly critiques/discussion sessions to be held for participants Monday through next Friday.

At the end of the week, Saturday, Oct. 1, prints of about 300 photos taken during this year's session -- along with a number of photos from the 1967 workshop -- will be on display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Marshall High School commons. The public is invited to view the exhibit of both old and new photographs of life in Marshall.

This year's workshop is co-sponsored by the Marshall Democrat-News and the city of Marshall.

Jim Curley, co-director of MPW along with David Rees, said the workshop did a similar exhibit last year in Hermann and the old photos often cause as much of a reaction from the public as do the new images. In Marshall's case, some of the photos from 1967 will be of the now closed International Shoe Company, the square as it looked almost four decades ago, what was then Butterfield Boys Ranch and more.

Workshop photographers will be concentrating on photo essays, doing research on a subject -- which could be an individual, a family, a certain location, a business, etc. -- then photographing and editing. "It's more than just about photography," said Curley. "It's about making contact with your subjects."

That closely echoes the credo of MPW's founder, the late Clifton C. Edom of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism: "Show truth with a camera. Ideally truth is a matter of personal integrity."

Edom started MPW in 1949, inspired by the now famous, gritty documentary photos of the Farm Security Administration in the years before World War II. FSA director Ron Stryker and famed photographer Russell Lee also worked with Edom and served on the workshop's faculty during the early years.

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