Wendy Ewald

Wendy Ewald

Just Launched! ‘Portraits and Dreams’: Revised and Expanded Edition

Just Launched! ‘Portraits and Dreams’: Revised and Expanded Edition

When Wendy Ewald arrived in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in 1975, she began a project that aimed to reveal the lives, intimate dreams and fears of local schoolchildren. Tasked with finding authentic ways of representing the lives of these children, she gave each of them a camera and interviewed them about their childhood in the mountains. Through these intriguing transcripts and photographs, we discover the lives of families as seen through the eyes of their children: where domestic, rural life is understood with startling openness and depth. In Portraits and Dreams, life’s most mysterious realities – love, loss, violence, death, new life – are given voice through an altogether novel discovery: the camera. We learn the eloquence and originality with which children see the world and we see a generous new way of engaging children in the possibilities of the photographic medium.

A revised and expanded edition of Portraits and Dreams, published by MACK Books, offers access to a different and broadened view of the rural south over the span of 35 years, and includes contemporary pictures and stories by eight of the students from the original publication.

“A unique vision of the rural south: one where imagination is uninhibited, aspiration is untainted by economic realities, and where the adults — tired, covered in coal dust, distinctly not Dolly Parton — seem to live in a parallel universe.” – The Financial Times

“Encouraged by Ewald to delve into their dreams, the children return from sleep with visions as dark as as a Grimms’ fairy tale: of killing a best friend, or of a brother buried under a woodpile. But it’s the revelations of waking thoughts that truly disturb.” – Andrea K. Scott, The New Yorker

“This new version […] brings new life to what is already considered to be a masterpiece.” – The Washington Post


Denise Kennedy

What an amazing documentary!! Very honest and well spoken.
Thanks to everyone involved.
…and for allowing me to share in your experiences.

kilroy metters

i watched portraits and dreams last night and was fascinated by it …Ms Ewald should be congratulated on ist of all going to appalachia and for teaching the kids photography…nobody probably had done that or maybe even thought about it…it surely touched all of their lives…i’m looking foward to exploring more of Ms Ewalds work and to spreading the word about portraits and dreams…….km

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