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Steidl : Susan Meiselas : Carnival Strippers Revisited


A new and expanded edition of Susan Meiselas’ 1976 classic, perhaps one of the most important photobooks of the postwar era is published by Steidl.

From 1972 to 1975, Meiselas spent her summers photographing women who performed striptease for small-town carnivals in New England, Pennsylvania and South Carolina. As she followed the shows from town to town, she captured the dancers on stage and off, their public performances as well as private lives, creating a portrait both documentary and empathetic: “The recognition of this world is not the invention of it. I wanted to present an account of the girl show that portrayed what I saw and revealed how the people involved felt about what they were doing.” Meiselas also taped candid interviews with the dancers, their boyfriends, the show managers and paying customers, which form a crucial part of the book.

Meiselas’ frank description of these women brought a hidden world to public attention, and explored the complex role the carnival played in their lives: mobility, money and liberation, but also undeniable objectification and exploitation. Produced during the early years of the women’s movement, Carnival Strippers reflects the struggle for identity and self-esteem that characterized a complex era of change. Making Of features largely unpublished additional photos, contact sheets, maps and letters, Carnival Strippers Revisited gives new depth to Meiselas’ influential vision.

Carnival Strippers Revisited brings Carnival Strippers and Making Of together in a slipcase. Making Of includes Carnival Strippers early color images that have never been printed and/or published before, along with ephemera material collected by Meiselas at the time she developed the project.

Co-published with c/o Berlin.

Text by Felix Hoffman and Abigail Solomon-Godeau

Born in Maryland in 1948, Susan Meiselas has worked as a freelance documentary photographer since joining Magnum Photos in 1976. Her images, particularly those covering the hostilities in Central America during the insurrection, have been widely published and exhibited. Meiselas’ many books include Carnival Strippers (1976), Nicaragua (1981), Kurdistan: In the Shadow of History (1997), a project on the 100-year photographic history of Kurdistan, Pandora’s Box (2001), exploring a New York S&M club, and Tar Beach (2020). In 1992 she received a MacArthur Fellowship, in 2015 a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 2019 the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize.



Susan Meiselas: Carnival Strippers Revisited
Making-of Susan Meiselas’ Carnival Strippers
Susan Meiselas and Felix Hoffmann in Conversation
Text by Felix Hoffman and Abigail Solomon-Godeau
Book design: Susan Meiselas, Bernard Fischer/Steidl Design
304 pages
11 x 9.5 in. / 27.5 x 23.5 cm
Hardback / Clothbound in slipcase
US$ 95.00 / € 85.00
ISBN 978-3-96999-002-5
Published by Steidl


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