From 1972 to 1975, Susan Meiselas spent her summers photographing and interviewing women who performed “men-only” girl shows for small town carnivals in the USA. As a woman, she was originally barred from entering the shows, which intensified her curiosity and led her to travel with the women to over 15 locations across the USA to document their working lives and experiences. This sustained personal engagement resulted in an immersive body of work, Carnival Strippers, which explores themes of intimacy, vulnerability, gender politics, and sexuality. Pictured here is a spectator at one of the shows in Tunbridge, Vermont, in the summer of 1974.

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