Thursday, January 17, 2013

Remembering Michelle Vignes





I thought of Michelle yesterday when I found (at a discount store of all places) the tarragon mustard that she favored.  I bought it and remembered how much she taught me about food. Michelle was a tough, smart, elderly woman who I lived with for six months in Diamond Heights. Sometimes she was crabby but who wouldn't be if you had to live with a painful hip for most of your life? I always admired her strength and how she just managed to go about her daily business without much complaint or asking for pity. She was very political and I would have a hard time keeping up with her conversations when they turned to worldly matters. She would look at me disdainfully and say, "You're not very political, are you? Hmf." I have since then have been a little better about keeping up with present world events.

Michelle was a social documentary photographer whose work included photographing the events and people centered around the American Indian Movement. I also remember her "Blues" series which was very up close and personal. I've always been timid about photographing strangers and I admired her courage and ability to photograph people beyond her immediate social circle.
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