Standing on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, in 2017, photographer William Abranowicz was struck by the weight of historical memory at this hallowed site of one of the civil rights movement’s defining episodes: 1965’s “Bloody Sunday,” when Alabama police officers attacked peaceful marchers. To Abranowicz’s eye, Selma seemed relatively unchanged from its apperance in the photographs Walker Evans made there in the 1930s. That, coupled with an awareness of renewed voter suppression efforts at state and federal levels, inspired Abranowicz to explore the living legacy of the civil and voting rights movement through photographing locations, landscapes, and individuals associated with the struggle, from Rosa Parks and Harry Belafonte to the barn where Emmett Till was murdered.
The result is This Far and No Further, a collection of photographs from Abranowicz’s journey through the American South. Through symbolism, metaphor, and history, he unearths extraordinary stories of brutality, heroism, sacrifice, and redemption hidden within ordinary American landscapes, underscoring the crucial necessity of defending—and exercising—our right to vote at this tenuous moment for American democracy.
Text by Zander Abranowicz with a Foreword by Nikole Hannah Jones, Pulitzer Prize winner for The 1619 Project.