The Photographic Journal

Spoiled Milk

Essay 157 • Apr 28th 2017

Foreward by Linda Segatto

Like American history in general, dairy farming is a story of politics, poverty, and violence—flip the page past the pretty picture, and you find our fabric, our foundation, is fraught. From mother’s milk to a $6 half-gallon of organic grass-fed milk, food is political. Control the subsidies, the access, the cost, the production, even the knowledge. Slash the programs and say they’re “not working” for the poor—part of running the game means getting to decide the measures of success. To control the system, control the food. The Homestead Act helped European immigrants stake claim to acres of farmland, while others found the deck is stacked—no 40 acres, no fresh veggies at the nearby bodega that accepts food stamps, no guarantees of even distribution of anything.

These photos use milk as a symbol of pervasive white privilege and its complicated history, and a neutral white body to represent the passiveness of those who benefit from the current system or don’t know how to help dismantle it.

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Nothing Matters is the creative duo of Erin Albrecht & Matthew Egan

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Model: Daniella Chappella