MHC Gallery invites visitors to look inside the often-misunderstood and cloistered world of Hutterite colonies with a new exhibition by Brandon-photographer Tim Smith.
In The World But Not Of It is a collection of photographs created over the 13 years that Smith has spent developing relationships with Hutterite colonies across Manitoba. In a modern western world faced with increasing levels of isolation and loneliness, Hutterite community life offers a different perspective. In fact, Smith says that the importance given to engagement in family life, social life and spirituality, as well as the defined purpose for their lives, means that Hutterite communities meet many of the requirements to be considered Blue Zones—areas where health, happiness, and life expectancy rates are higher than average.
Smith's photographs also show that this traditional way of living is far from static. "Hutterites are often either romanticized or denigrated as quaint or old fashioned. The reality is that their society is very complex," he says, noting that although the Hutterites are experiencing the most peaceful and prosperous times in their approximately 500-year history, each colony is faced with the challenge of negotiating how to maintain traditions while adapting to an increasingly connected outside world. "These photographs capture how colonies navigate the need to respond to the external pressures of the world around them, while holding on to key traditions central to their faith."
The Hutterites are an Anabaptist group whose roots trace back to Tyrol, Austria in the wake of the 16th century Radical Reformation. They live communally on colonies throughout western Canada and the north-western United States and have preserved their culture through deliberate separation from mainstream society and economic self-sufficiency.
Many of the images on exhibit capture the heartbeat of Hutterite youth culture—sites where expressions of rebellion, respect for tradition, and maintenance of strict gender roles all create a sense of dual resistance—at once against the pressures of the outside world and against tradition.
Media opportunities and high-resolution images available. Please contact Sarah Hodges-Kolisnyk at SHodges-Kolisnyk:@:cmu.ca or 204.250-8368.
In The World But Not Of It opens at MHC Gallery on September 16 at 7:00 PM with an artist talk and refreshments. The exhibition runs until November 12, 2022 and is open Monday–Friday, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM; Saturday 12:00–5:00 PM.
Click thumbnails to view full images
Printed from: media.cmu.ca/news-release-exhibition-offers-look-inside-hutterite-colonies