“Rank Stranger”: A New Documentary Blog of Writing and Photography

Bolivar County, Mississippi, 2011. Photograph by Tom Rankin.

Bolivar County, Mississippi, 2011. Photograph by Tom Rankin.

We think you’ll enjoy Rank Stranger, “a blog about memory and place, art, and documentary expression,” says its creator, Tom Rankin. You’d be hard pressed to find a better person than Rankin to launch such a site—documentary photographer, writer, and folklorist of note, director of Duke University’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, former director of the Center for Documentary Studies. With assistance from Grant Yarolin (MFA|EDA ’15), Rankin plans to update the blog weekly. “Some posts may be long and relatively substantive, others less so,” he says. “Some will consist of completely original material (my images, writing, recordings); other times I may be pointing to the work of others, with a little framing and commentary. Some posts will be in first-person; others may be interviews or things I’m writing for another purpose. Why do this?  As a way, I think, of sharing bit and pieces of ideas as well as things more wholly formed. It’s all a little bit of an experiment.”

Enjoy the ride at rankstranger.net.

Tom Rankin  is Professor of the Practice of Art and Documentary at Duke University where he also directs the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts. His books include Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta, which received the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award for Photography; Deaf Maggie Lee Sayre: Photographs of a River Life; Faulkner’s World: The Photographs of Martin J. Dain; Local Heroes Changing America: Indivisible; and One Place: Paul Kwilecki and Four Decades of Photographs from Decatur County, Georgia.

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