Roughstock investigates contemporary North American small-town rodeo, a significant and adrenaline-charged tribal sub-culture that helps sustain a rural way of life for many who produce our local food. From its genesis in the colourful traditions of the 18th century Mexican vaquero (the first horse-mounted working cowboy), then knifing up through southwestern US "Indian country" into the Canadian west and around the global village on early television, rodeo now thrives in the countryside surrounding Toronto. Rather than reiterating the iconography of the performance, these photographs principally document the behind-the-chutes lives of people who, in the context of unabashed Christianity and proud family values, risk their lives in pursuit of both an enduring myth of rugged individualism and a freer way of being.
By Peter Sibbald —
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