Photographer Sarah Christianson is currently based in San Francisco, but home is Red River Valley in North Dakota. Her longterm project, “Homeplace,” documents her family’s farm there. In 1884, Christianson’s great-grandfather immigrated from Norway and acquired the family’s original 160-acre plot. Today, the farm, passed down from generation to generation, has grown to 1,200 acres, and is managed by Christianson’s parents. The tradition stops there, however, as Christianson and her siblings are not interested in taking over the farm when their parents retire.
With an interest in preserving the farm as it now is, and documenting its history, Christianson spent years photographing the farm, the land, her family, and related-objects like her father’s toy tractor collection. These elements combine to paint the larger picture of tradition and a changing landscape. In a statement about the project, Christianson asks, “As world populations shift from agrarian to urban lifestyles, our small family farm is only one amongst many that are approaching a crossroads. What will happen to them? Who will maintain these traditions and what does this tradition mean?”
Homeplace was published by Daylight books in 2013.