Photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier Awarded $625,000 MacArthur Genius Grant

This past week, 33-year-old Pittsburgh-based photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier was announced as one of 24 recipients of this year’s MacArthur “Genius” Grant, a $625,000 no-strings-attached prize.

Frazier has spent the past 12 years documenting her small hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a community built on steel that’s now struggling to get by. The 3-minute video above by the MacArthur Foundation is a look at Frazier’s work.

After the award was announced, Frazier also did an interview with NPR’s All Things Considered about her story:

“…because I had so many questions about my displacement and my plight and the disenfranchisement we were facing, I turned to the camera to try to get a little bit of distance to really look at it and understand head-on what was actually occurring,” Frazier tells the show. “Like, what was the crisis that was affecting my family socially, economically and politically? And the only way I knew how to do that was through the visual arts.”

You can view photos from Frazier’s project over on her website.