Rochester, MN – Rochester photographer Rick Swanson begins a year-long project in which he produces photographs that reveal anti-intellectual thought and action in Minnesota.
Swanson is a film photographer and former science teacher. He is concerned by an increasing hostility in Minnesota towards science, rational thought, and intellectual debate. One sees abundant evidence in political discourse, school board meetings, public protests against LGBTQIA+ activities, public policy, and government. Debate forums that were once characterized by reasoning and thought have devolved into mere name-calling and blame-assigning shouting matches. Logical inconsistencies are abundant as individuals become entrenched in their beliefs, unwilling to be persuaded by evidence or logic. Fear, Christian nationalism, and political extremism dominate public discussion.
Swanson seeks to represent this state of intellectual decay through black and white film photography, creating an artistic record that portrays the current situation, especially as we head into an election year.
This project is funded in part with a grant from the Southeast Minnesota Arts Council and made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the MN State Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.
WHO: Rick Swanson, photographer
WHAT: Photoessay: Anti-Intellectualism in Minnesota
WHEN: Ongoing project
CONTACT: Rick Swanson (651) 338-1349