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LaToya Ruby Frazier: What Is The Human Cost Of Toxic Water And Environmental Racism?

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Our Relationship With Water

Flint, Michigan is the site of one of the worst ongoing water crises in recent U.S. history. Artist LaToya Ruby Frazier has spent years capturing the stories of life living with toxic water.

About LaToya Ruby Frazier

LaToya Ruby Frazier is a visual artist. She is a 2015 TED and MacArthur Fellow, and earlier this year she received the Gordon Parks Foundation/Steidl Book Prize.

Her first book, The Notion of Family, received the International Center for Photography Infinity Award. She is also known for Flint Is Family, portraits of three generations of women surviving the man-made water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Following the Flint Is Family project, Frazier partnered with AWG Contracting and Moses West to bring an atmospheric water generator to Flint so that residents could produce their own supply of clean water. It is in its second year of use.

Notable solo exhibitions of Frazier's work have run at Brooklyn Museum, Seattle Art Museum, and Institute Of Contemporary Art, Boston. Her work can also be found in public and private art collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art.

Frazier is currently an associate professor of photography at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has previously held academic or curatorial positions at Yale University School of Art, Rutgers University, and Syracuse University.

She received her BFA in applied media arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and her MFA in art photography from Syracuse University.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by Maria Paz Gutiérrez and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHourand email us at

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit

Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Sanaz Meshkinpour
[Copyright 2024 NPR]