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Danny Wilcox Frazier

Director and Photographer

Photographer and filmmaker Danny Wilcox Frazier has concentrated on covering issues of marginalized communities both in and outside the United States.


Over the past six years, Frazier has photographed people struggling to survive the economic shift that devastated rural communities across his home state of Iowa. This project was awarded the 2006 Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography and was published by CDS and Duke University Press in November of 2007. Robert Frank selected Frazier’s work for the prize. Photographs from the book, "Driftless: Photographs from Iowa", have been exhibited and screened widely, including Visa Pour l’Image in Perpignan, France, in 2007 and LOOK3: Festival of The Photograph in 2008.


After completing the book, Frazier directed a documentary that confronts issues highlighted by his photographs, premièring the film in New York in May 2009. The documentary was co-produced with MediaStorm and screened at the LOOK3 festival in 2009.


Frazier’s freelance work includes: TIME, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Life, People, Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek, The Washington Post Magazine, and Der Spiegel. Frazier is a contributing photographer for Mother Jones and CR magazines. He has collaborated with CR magazine’s creative director, Yolanda Cuomo, on multiple projects.


Frazier has received prizes from Pictures of The Year International, the National Press Photographers Association, Society of Professional Journalists, and Chinese International Press Photo as well as numerous grants and fellowships for foreign and domestic projects. He received grants from The Aftermath Project and Humanities Iowa (NEH affiliate) in 2009 and was named a finalist for the W. Eugene Smith Grant in 2007 and 2008.


Frazier’s foreign assignments have taken him to Afghanistan, India, Cuba, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Kosovo, and Mexico.


In 2004, Frazier received a master’s degree from the University of Iowa, where he taught photography courses during his graduate studies.

Driftless: Stories from Iowa by Danny Wilcox Frazier

Once at the center of the U.S. economy, the family farm now drifts at its edges. In Iowa, old-time farmers try to hang on to their way of life, while their young push out to find their futures elsewhere. Driftless tells their stories.