Nadia Stiegman grew up on her family’s grain farm in Thawville, Illinois. She graduated from Illinois State University in Normal, IL with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Photography and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Arts Technology in 2019. In her photography practice, Nadia explores how the intersection of her rural and transgender identity continually informs her life experience. She remains a strong advocate for other rural queer people like her. The elements of sci-fi, rurality, and queerness that she weaves into her narratives create otherworldly scenarios that are both bizarre and captivating. Nadia has featured work at Latitude Chicago, The Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado, McLean County Arts Center, Jan Brandt Gallery, Bradley University Hartmann Center Gallery, as well as in Lethe Press and Create Magazine.
FARM 1350 is a story birthed from the imagination and resilience of a rural trans cyborg. It looks at ideas of queerness, the rural family structure, and cyborg feminism. A Cyborg Manifesto by Donna Haraway defines a ‘cyborg’ as “…a cybernetic organism, a hybrid of machine and organism..”. I link transgender, which is based in both social and scientific fact, with ‘cyborg’, a term of science fiction, as modern medicine now enables us to transform our bodies ways once thought limited to only science fiction.
Little research exists on queer people from rural areas especially those of the transgender perspective. FARM 1350 was created to bridge this intersection of rural and trans identity. The narrative is nonlinear; the viewer may decide how each figure or object relates to one another and their environment. FARM 1350 aims to start a conversation around such topics, and the world these beings occupy. The images in this series not only tell positive stories of my past but they imagine fantastic, complex, and varied narratives for rural and trans people of the future.
FARM 1350 was photographed on my family’s farm, and it was an absolute joy to direct. Collaborating with my parents has improved our relationship dramatically. I plan to continue creating work for this series, on our farm, in the foreseeable future.
To view more of Nadia Stiegman’s work please visit her website.