Jeremy Rue, a student of U.C. Berkeleyâ€™s Graduate School of Journalism is this yearâ€™s recipient of the Dorothea Lange Fellowship. The $4,000 award is in honor of Dorothea Lange whose landmark photographic work documented the plight of farm families migrating West in search of work during the Great Depression.
Rueâ€™s own award-winning photographic work â€“ color photos of farm workers in the fields, orchards, and labor camps of Californiaâ€™s Central Valley â€“ is a personal story. His maternal grandparents immigrated to California from Mexico and briefly worked in the fields like the men and women in his photos.
The 25-year-old graduate students said agricultural life was largely unknown to him until he worked as a reporter and photographer at newspapers in the San Joaquin Valley farming towns of Selma and Madera.
“These farm workers, whose aspirations in life are not unlike that of many Americans, migrate from place to place, taking great care and pride in what they do…,” Rue wrote in his entry for the Lange competition.