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Michael Poster

A photo from the exhibit, “Love, Labor, Worship: The People of Basin Farm,” now on display at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

The Arts

Photographer Michael Poster discusses his work with Twelve Tribes community at BMAC

For more information, call 802-257-0124 or visit www.brattleboromuseum.org.

BRATTLEBORO—Photographer Michael Poster spent three years documenting the daily lives of the people of Basin Farm, a Twelve Tribes community in Bellows Falls.

The result of Poster’s work is an exhibit, on view at the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) through May 3, entitled “Love, Labor, Worship: The People of Basin Farm.”

Poster will give a talk about the exhibit and his experience working with the people of Basin Farm at BMAC on Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

The people of Basin Farm grow organic produce, bake bread, make yogurt, work with wood, raise children, and worship Yahshua, their Messiah and master.

According to BMAC chief curator Mara Williams, the fact that Poster gained the trust of the community “is a testament to the gentleness of his nature and the authenticity of his approach. After a time, his comings and goings were woven into the fabric of the farm. Because he effectively disappeared, his subjects did not self-consciously pose for the camera. It allowed the production of a remarkable body of work.”

That body of work includes 42 photos on view at BMAC, accompanied by a written narrative by Poster.

Poster has written, “There is plenty to read in online news archives about the Twelve Tribes; some stories focus on controversial incidents involving alleged child abuse and child labor violations. Other negative reports describe a misogynist, homophobic, and racist ideology...

“I can’t tell you that what you might read about the Twelve Tribes is true or false, and in making pictures at Basin Farm, my aim was not to document or pass judgment on their religious beliefs.

“I can say that their passion for living simply, their devotion to the land, and their love for one another inspires me, and that the pictures I made at the farm are true; they are what I saw.“

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Peter Ford
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Peter Ford (Dallas) says...

Nailed it - Thank you.

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TB Smith
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TB Smith (Ba, Oklahoma, US) says...

The divisiveness brought on by this shamefully poor excuse for a president has been once again, borne out by this article, and the responses to it .. his most devoted followers are the most gullible and easily swayed sheeple since the \"Kool-Aid party in Jonestown\" ... those who stand up the most fervently to this dictator \"wanabe\", will , inthe end, see him and the fellow purveyors of his garbage rhetoric like FOX News, Alex Jones, Breitbart, etc., crumble and be dumped like stale crackers (pardon the pun) .. we must impeach this tyrant before too much damage is done, either from within or outside our borders.

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Ruby Bode
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Ruby Bode (Westminster, Vermont, US) says...

So it’s OK that access to outlets that simply recognize Trump as President is indeed being shut down? But isn’t that exactly what this editorial is against? Should outlets that cheered on Obama’s wars and love of Wall St have likewise been shut down? Only John Birch Society–inspired screeds against Trump indicate the “legitimate” press?

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Amelia Stone
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Amelia Stone (E Dummerston, Vermont, US) says...

Kudos to the Boston Globe for encouraging newspapers across the country to remind us all of the value of a free press, and to the Commons for hearing that call. The NYTimes article, A Free Press Needs You, concludes with the following: \"If you haven’t already, please subscribe to your local papers. Praise them when you think they’ve done a good job and criticize them when you think they could do better. We’re all in this together.\" Today I plan to subscribe.

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Bev Matias
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Bev Matias (Connecticut, US) says...

Thank you for your efforts to disseminate the news of the day and resist the hate-filled and deceitful rhetoric of this administration. I cannot believe, still, in this country that it is necessary for the press and regular citizens to defend themselves. Only one quarter or less of the citizens believe a word he says yet you are forced to defend yourselves because his speech is so incediary. The press is now officially our last line of defense.

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Janet
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Janet (Venice, Florida, US) says...

You nailed it perfectly.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #299 (Wednesday, April 1, 2015). This story appeared on page B3.

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