Past Exhibits: The Quiet Sickness

November 7th - January 5th, 2003

A Photo Documentary Exhibit By Earl Dotter

Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center, this exhibit features compelling photographs depicting the hazards of work in America. Sponsored the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in conjunction with The Chapel Hill Museum.

Artist's Statement by Earl Dotter:

As a photographer, I am aware that the lives of my subjects are often far harsher and more painful than those of my viewers. To bridge the gap, I look for common ground that the workers in the photos share with those who gaze upon them. Often I need only to capture their desire for dignity and self-respect.

My goal is not just to touch those viewers who are already sympathetic to their situation, but to command the attention of those who might normally pass them by. When I walk through a mine, mill, or factory, I find myself drawn to those subjects who emanate a sense of personal worth and belonging to the human family.

When I experience tragedy in the workplace - death, disability, and exploitation - when I experience the heroism that workers display in the face of danger, such as those who worked in lower Manhattan in the first weeks after the destruction of the World Trade Center, or the mine rescue teams who go underground to save those who are trapped beneath the earth, I use the camera to explore not only just the person or event, but my own reaction to it.

If I am successful, then the viewer will be better able to stand before the photograph and feel the intensity of the moment as I myself do.

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