The Working for Dignity undergraduate research project is a result of the work of hundreds of undergraduate students in collaboration with the California Legal Rural Assistance (CRLA), the Day Worker's Center, and Santa Cruz County community members and workers. While the overall project required the efforts of a large number of undergraduate students researching, conducting surveys and interviews, analyzing data, and designing an interactive website. I was responsible deciding the final selection of images that would be utilized for the visual representation of this project. My goal for this project is to give honor to individuals who are often not given the respect they deserve by our society.
The processes through which these images are created are key for the manifestation of this body of work. In order to thematically connect the topic of labor with image production, I chose to create my images through analog processes that were both time consuming and physically draining. The incorporation of found objects is another unifying aspect of this project. Pallets are utilized throughout many types of work, often enduring large amounts of weight, harsh conditions, and are undervalued for their service. The workers depicted often experience the same conditions and disrespect that these items receive. By choosing to incorporate items that were once discarded, I returned functionality to the object and created a platform where the workers could be honored.