Ruth Gruber Becomes a Centenarian

| | Comments (0)

My (Jason) photography knowledge is pretty thin, so I was happy to see this article on NPR titled "A Woman Of Photos And Firsts, Ruth Gruber At 100." As the article explains:

At the age of 100, Ruth Gruber is responsible for a lot of firsts. When she was just 20, she became the youngest Ph.D. ever at the University of Cologne in Germany. She was the first photojournalist, much less female journalist, to travel to and cover both the Soviet Arctic and Siberian gulag. She documented Holocaust survivors and the plight of the ship, the Exodus 1947.

In other words, "She was just a badass -- no other way describe it," as Maya Benton is quoted in the article.

The short article also touches very clearly on some of the ethnographic issues of positionality anthropologists often face, for good or for bad. As the article says "being a woman gave her an advantage in getting sources to reveal themselves" and includes this exchange as an example of this advantage in action:

In 1944, she spent two weeks on the Henry Gibbins, a ship of 1,000 Jewish refugees, many of them clad in striped concentration camp uniforms, on a voyage from Italy to America.

She recalls: "Some of the men said, 'We can't tell you what we went through, it's too obscene. You're a young woman!' I said, 'Forget I'm a woman, you are the first witnesses coming to America.' So they talked. Nobody refused to talk."


Leave a comment

New!: You can sign in using your Facebook, Google, OpenID, mixi, Yahoo, MovableType, or other third-party authentication system.

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Monthly Archives

Sponsored Links

Powered by Movable Type 5.11

Sponsored by



Sponsored Links

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Jason C Romero published on October 16, 2011 8:27 PM.

Panasonic GH2 or new Ricoh GXR with A-12 Leica M mount was the previous entry in this blog.

"A Japanese Funeral" wins Plath Media award is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

August 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30