Menu

Guide to the Petra Barth photographs, 2006-2017

Summary

Collection consists of 421 black-and-white prints in darkroom and inkjet formats, 725 associated digital image and project files, and two digital videos by photographer Petra Barth. Arranged by project, Barth's images document cultures, politics, environments, and crises in countries all over the world, through landscape and portraiture. Series include images from Central and South American countries to the Caribbean countries of Haiti and the Bahamas; portraits of migrants and images of migrant services at Arizona/Mexico border stations; images from the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and residents in nearby areas in the Ukraine; scenes in Jerusalem and the West Bank; images of Syrian refugees and others in Jordan camps; and portraits of military veterans of the Bosnia-Herzegovina War. Acquired as part of the Human Rights Archive at Duke University.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.10024
Title
Petra Barth photographs
Date
2006-2017
Extent
14.0 Linear Feet, 11 boxes, 65.12 Gigabytes
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Collection Overview

Collection consists of 421 black-and-white prints, darkroom and digital, 726 associated digital image and project files, and two digital videos by photographer Petra Barth. Arranged by project, the photographs document the cultures, politics, environments, and crises in countries all over the world, and her interest in portraiture. Series include The Americas, whose images range from Central and South American countries to Caribbean countries of Haiti and the Bahamas; migrants and migrant services at the Arizona/Mexico border; the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone and residents in nearby areas in the Ukraine; scenes in Jerusalem and the West Bank; refugees in Jordan camps; and portraits of military veterans of the Bosnia-Herzegovina War, in the city of Sarajevo. In addition to many portraits of individuals and families, there are also landscapes.

Areas represented in The Americas series include Bolivia; Patagonia, Argentina; the Bahamas; Foz do Iguaçu and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; El Salvador; Guatemala; Martissant, Cité Soleil, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Nicaragua; Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; and Cusco, Peru. Includes images of people working, cooking, minding children, participating in local festivals, traveling, and playing. Several portraits feature people in traditional dress. The largest group of images was taken in Haiti, where Barth returned following the 2010 earthquake. These photographs include scenes of people among the rubble in Martissant and Port-au-Prince, as well as some portraits of hospital patients. The Americas series images are arranged alphabetically by country.

The two short digital videos were taken by Barth in South America and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone.

Acquired as part of the Human Rights Archive at Duke University.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open to educational, non-commercial use. Any other use requires express consent of the photographer.

Digital videos and digital images are open to use; they can be viewed only in the Rubesntein Library reading room.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Petra Barth photographs, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Contents of the Collection

1. The Americas (Central America, South America, and Caribbean), 2006-2010

Series comprises 99 traditional darkroom black-and-white photographs, 127 digital image files, and one digital video (2 mins., 18 secs.) documenting life and culture, and landscapes in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, with a focus on Bolivia.

Digital image files are associated with the Bolivia series, and include TIFs, PSDs, and a PDF contact sheet.

The photographic prints are arranged in series chiefly by country and then by travel dates; they measure approximately 16x20 inches. Areas represented are Patagonia and Argentina; the Bahamas; the Altiplano region of Bolivia; Foz do Iguaçu and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; El Salvador; Guatemala; Martissant, Cité Soleil, and Port-au-Prince, Haiti; Nicaragua; Ciudad del Este, Paraguay; and Cusco, Peru.

Images show people working and farming, cooking, minding children, socializing, parading, traveling, going to market, resting, and playing games. Several portraits feature people in traditional dress.

The largest groups of images are from Bolivia, El Salvador, and Haiti. The Haiti photographs, taken when Barth returned following the 2010 earthquake, include scenes of destroyed buildings, street life, and people among the rubble in the epicenter zone, at Martissant, and in the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The digital video (2 mins., 18 secs.) chiefly shows landscapes in Nicaragua and Honduras, most shot from a moving vehicle, border crossings, and possibly other South American locations.

Electronic records in this series have been migrated to a library server; digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

Patagonia, finished prints
(3 prints)
Box 1
Folder 1
Bahamas, finished prints
(3 prints)
Box 1
Folder 2

Bolivia, 2009-2010

42 prints; 122 digital files

Electronic records in this series have been migrated to a library server; digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

El Alto, La Paz, finished prints, 2010 February
(1 prints)
Box 1
Folder 3
Uyuni, finished prints, 2010 July
(1 prints)
Box 1
Folder 3
Oruro, Carnaval; El Alto; Altiplano; La Paz, finished prints, 2009
(25 prints, 5 folders)

The Carnaval celebration in Oruro is designated by UNESCO as a heritage site. Prints measure 13x19 inches.

Box 4
Oruro, Carnaval; El Alto; Altiplano; La Paz, finished prints, 2009
(15 prints, 3 folders)

The Carnaval celebration in Oruro is designated by UNESCO as a heritage site. Prints measure 17x22 inches.

Box 5
TIF image files, 2009-2010
(40 files; 4.82 GB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0001
PSD files, 2009-2010
(41 files; 7.44 GB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0001
JPEG image files, 2009-2010
(40 files; 6.17 MB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0001
Contact sheet
(1 Adobe PDF file;)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0001
Rio de Janeiro, finished prints, 2008 March
(2 prints)
Box 1
Folder 3
Foz do Iguaçu, finished prints, 2010 April
(5 prints)
Box 1
Folder 3
Concepcíon, Chile, finished prints, 2010 March
(1 prints)
Box 1
Folder 4
Bogotá, Colombia, finished prints, 2010 March
(2 prints, 2 prints)
Box 1
Folder 4
Suchitoto, El Salvador, finished prints, 2007 March
(1 prints)
Box 1
Folder 4
San Antonio Palopó, Guatemala, finished prints, 2006 July
(1 prints)
Box 1
Folder 4
Huehuetenango, Guatemala, finished prints, 2006 July
(1 prints)
Box 1
Folder 4

El Salvador, 2007

49 prints
El Salvador, finished prints
(49 prints, 4 folders)
Box 2

Haiti, 2009-2010

20 prints

Large series of images was taken in Haiti, where Barth returned following the devastating 2010 earthquake, centered about 16 miles west of the capital of Port-au-Prince. Photographs include scenes of people among the rubble in Martissant and Port-au-Prince, and portraits of people of all ages, including some of hospital patients.

Martissant, Haiti, finished prints, 2009 October
(8 prints)
Box 3
Folder 1
Martissant, Haiti, finished prints, 2009 October
(3 prints)
Box 3
Folder 2
Martissant, Haiti, finished prints, 2010 March
(4 prints)
Box 3
Folder 2
Cité Soleil, Haiti, finished prints, 2010 March
(2 prints)
Box 3
Folder 3
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, finished prints, 2010 March
(2 prints)
Box 3
Folder 3
Martissant, Haiti, finished prints, 2010 March
(1 prints)
Box 3
Folder 3

Nicaragua, 2006

4 prints
Matagalpa, Nicaragua, 2006 July
(3 prints)
Box 3
Folder 4
Managua, Nicaragua, 2006 October
(1 prints)
Box 3
Folder 4
Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, 2010 April
(2 prints)
Box 3
Folder 5
Cusco, Peru, 2010 July
(3 prints)
Box 3
Folder 5

On Location in South America video, mp4 file, 2012 April 24

1 mp4 file; 35.9 MB

Digital video (2 mins., 18 secs.) shows footage of mountains, rainforests, a coastline, a large lake, street life, border crossings, what appear to be small mining operations, and other scenes, shot in Nicaragu and the Honduras, and possibly other South American locations. Much of the footage was shot from a moving vehicle. The soundtrack consists of acoustic indigenous music.

The digital video can only be accessed in the Rubenstein Library reading room.

MPEG-4 master

Digital file can only be accessed in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

Video-file RL10024-MP4-0002

2. Arizona/Mexico border, circa 2013-2016

Series consists of two subgroups, each representing a different project by photographer Petra Barth, exploring the natural and built environment as well as the human stories of the border crossing between Arizona and Mexico. Each series comprises photographic prints as well as associated electronic files.

The 57 black-and-white digitally printed photographs in the first subseries document border crossings, desert locations, and various services and shelters supported by the Comedor/Kino Border, ARSOBO/ArizonaSonoraBorder, and San Juan Bosco Albergue Para Immigrantes initiatives, in partnership with: BCA Border Community Alliance, FESAC Fondacioa Del Empresariado Sonorese, A.C. The prints measure 13x19 inches. Associated digital records include image files and one contact sheet.

The second subseries, entitled "Los Mochileros," or "The Backpackers," embodies 32 stark portraits of migrants, mostly men but also a few women, who are awaiting deportation decisions on the border between Arizona and Nogales. The prints measure 13x19 inches and are digitally printed. Associated digital records include book layouts as well as image files and Barth's statement's about the project.

Electronic records in this series have been migrated to a library server; digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

Arizona/Mexico, 2013

57 prints, 115 digital files

In addition to portraits of migrants, Barth turned her lens to the landscapes and buildings at the border crossing between Arizona and Mexico. The digital inkjet prints measure 13x19 inches. Associated digital image files are included.

Arizona/Mexico, finished prints
(57 prints)
Box 8
PSD image files
(58 files; 6.08 GB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0002
DNG image files
(55 files; 1.86 GB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0002
Contact sheet files
(2 .pdf files; 11.0 MB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0002

The Backpackers / Los Mochileros, circa 2013-2016

32 prints; 66 digital files

These 32 untitled 13x19 inch black-and-white inkjet photographic prints record the faces of the migrants who await their fates at the border of the United States and Mexico. The portraits are anonymous, are mostly of men, though there are also several women, and were taken at the San Juan Bosco shelter for deportees.

In addition to the prints and the associated digital image files, there is the photographer's statement about the Backpackers project, and several digital book layout and book block files related to publications, one of which contains an essay on the border wall.

The Backpackers / Los Mochileros, finished prints
Box 9
PSD image files
(31 files; 7.80 GB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0002
JPEG image files
(31 files; 227 MB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0002
Supporting material files
(4 files (3 .pdf, 1 Word .doc); 74.5 MB)

Four electronic files include a 2016 digital maquette of the book block (all interior pages), a layout for the 2017 Bienniale in Venice exhibit publication, one contact sheet, and the photographer's project statement.

Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0002

3. Chernobyl, Ukraine, 2009-2012

92 prints; 129 digital files

The 92 black-and-white digital inkjet prints, digital video (2 mins., 19 secs.), and associated digital image files in this series document various sites surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in what is now Ukraine, abandoned after a catastrophic breach in April 1986. The prints measure 13x19 and 17x22 inches.

Locations include abandoned cities and towns (Pripyat is one of the most well-known) and other sites in the exclusion zone; inhabited villages and towns outside the exclusion zone; and the exclusion zone visitors center. Included are many portraits of resettled refugees; squatters; and visitors to the areas.

The digital video records landscapes, abandoned buildings and other locations, and official escorts with Geiger counters.

Electronic records in this series have been migrated to a library server; digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

Chernobyl, finished prints
(25 prints, 5 folders, 13x19 inches)
Box 4
Chernobyl, finished prints
(32 prints, 7 folders, 13x19 inches)
Box 6
Chernobyl, finished prints
(35 prints, 7 folders, 17x22 inches)
Box 7
Exclusion Zone Chernobyl video, mp4 file, 2012 May 17
(138 Megabytes, 1 mp4 file, 2 minutes, 19 seconds)

Video footage features landscapes, abandoned buildings and other locations, and official escorts with Geiger counters.

The digital video can only be accessed in the Rubenstein Library reading room.

Video-file RL10024-MP4-0001
TIF image files
(35 files; 3.77 GB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0003
PSD image files
(92; 13.6 GB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0003
Contact sheet file

1 .pdf; 28.5 MB

Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0003

4. Market of the Heroes, Sarajevo, circa 2000

54 prints; 188 digital files

Series consists of 54 black-and-white inkjet prints, measuring 13x19 inches, along with associated digital files. The majority of the images are individual and group portraits of veterans of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, gathered in a Sarajevo city square. There are also photographs of panoramic city views, street views, Jewish cemeteries, monuments, and buildings with bullet holes.

In addition to image files in various formats, the digital components include a Word document containing the photographer's statement about the project, as well as three pages of short biographies of each individual whose portraits are in the collection. A hard copy of this document accompanies the photographs in the box.

Electronic records in this series have been migrated to a library server; digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

Market of the Heroes, finished prints
(10 prints, 2 folders)
Box 9
Market of the Heroes, finished prints
(54 prints, 11 folders)
Box 10
TIF image files
(56 files; 7.30 GB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0004
JPEG image files
(57 files; 390 MB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0004
Supporting material files
(2 files (Word .doc, .pdf); 15.7 MB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0004

5. Jerusalem / West Bank, circa 2017

These 16 black-and-white digital prints were taken by Petra Barth of buildings, streets, and inhabitants in the city of Jerusalem and in the West Bank. The prints measure 13x19 inches.

Jerusalem / West Bank, finished prints
(6 folders)
Box 11

6. Displaced, Jordan, 2016

31 prints; 107 digital files

The 31 black-and-white digital prints in this series were taken by Barth of refugee camps in Jordan which house thousands of displaced people, mainly from Syria, but also from Iraq and Palestine. Portraits include men, women, children, and family groups, in their temporary housing and at refugee processing centers. The prints all measure 13x19 inches.

The photographic prints are accompanied by digital images files and the photographer's statement about the camps and her project to document life there.

Electronic records in this series have been migrated to a library server; digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Rubenstein Library Reading Room.

Displaced, Jordan, finished prints
Box 11
PSD image files
(47 files; 10.1 GB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0005
JPEG image files
(47 files; 564 MB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0005
Supporting material files
(13 files (12 .pdfs, 1 Word .doc); 154 MB)
Digital-materials RL10024-SET-0005
 

Historical Note

Petra Barth was born in Bavaria, Germany in 1964. She originally studied design in Milan and worked for many years in the fashion industry. In 1999, fulfilling a lifelong ambition, she became a full-time freelance photographer working primarily in Latin America and Asia. She has since won several awards and has exhibited her work throughout the United States, including at Duke University.

Locations where Barth has worked as a photographer include Argentina, the Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Europe, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, the Ukraine, and the United States.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The Petra Barth photographs were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, and 2018.

Processing Information

Processed by Meghan Lyon, November 2010, and Levi Crews and Paula Jeannet, September 2014.

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, November 2010, Craig Breaden, June 2012, and Paula Jeannet, September 2014.

Processed by Yuqiao Cao and processed and encoded by Paula Jeannet, January 2018.

Accession 2018-0076 processed and encoded by Paula Jeannet, August 2018.

All digital content with the exception of the videos ingested, processed, and encoded by M. Farrell and Paula Jeannet, November 2018.

Accession(s) represented in this collection guide: 2008-0235, 2010-0209, 2012-0126, 2014-0101, 2017-0213, and 2018-0076.