Photojournalist, humanitarian and former marine Anthony Karen spent a decade documenting the lives of Ku Klux Klan members, gaining unprecedented access to a rarely-seen world. Karen’s interest in documenting this society required months of reaching out to Klan members before he was eventually allowed access to an event. First in rural Tennessee, Karen’s work eventually brought him to document groups across the United States. His resulting series, Ku Klux Klan, is fascinating and surprisingly intimate.
While the Ku Klux Klan’s existence as a controversial organization is well-known, Karen’s photographs provide a unique insight into the everyday lives of its members. The lifestyle of the individuals Karen documents is seldom approached in such an internal, candid way. Although much of Karen’s work in this series features the gatherings and rituals involved in membership, many of the images show regular life as well: a bride’s preparation for her wedding day; a couple shopping for groceries.
In partnership with the Discovery Channel, Karen’s connections made it possible for him to film a documentary about the daily lives of Klansmen: KKK: Beneath the Hood, released in March 2013. Karen has also written two books on the subject of the Ku Klux Klan, entitled “The Invisible Empire: Ku Klux Klan” released in 2009, and “White Pride” released in 2013.
[via Feature Shoot]