Jan Banning – Bureaucratics

Bureaucratics is a project consisting of a book and exhibition containing 50 photographs, the product of an anarchist’s heart, a historian’s mind, and an artist’s eye. It is a comparative photographic study of the culture, rituals, and symbols of state civil administrations and its servants in eight countries on five continents, selected on the basis of political, historical, and cultural considerations: Bolivia, China, France, India, Liberia, Russia, the United States, and Yemen. In each country, I visited up to hundreds of offices of members of the executive in different services and at different levels. The visits were unannounced and the accompanying writer, Will Tinnemans, by interviewing kept the employees from tidying up or clearing the office. That way, the photos show what a local citizen would be confronted with when entering. Taken from Annals of Americus.

See the whole book as a PDF-file.

All images © Jan Banning

Jan Banning

United States — Ozona, Texas (2007). Shane Fenton is sheriff of Crockett County.

Jan Banning

United States — Austin, Texas (2007). Dede McEachern (b. 1969) is director of licensing, Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations, in the state capital, Austin. Monthly salary: US $5,833 (euro 4,240).

Jan Banning

Russia — Tomsk, Siberia (2004). Marina Nikolayevna Berezina (b. 1962), a former singer and choir director, is now the secretary to the head of the financial department of Tomsk province”s Facility Services. She does not want to reveal her monthly salary.

Jan Banning

France (2006) — Roger Vacher (b. 1957) is a narcotics agent with the national police force in Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dome department, Auvergne region. Monthly salary: euro 2,200 (US $2,893).

Jan Banning

China (2007) — Qu Shao Feng (b. 1964) is chief general of Jining Public Security Bureau Division of Aliens and Exit-Entry Administration in Jining City, Shandong province. Monthly salary: 3,100 renminbi (US $384, 286 euro).

Jan Banning

Liberia (2006) — Major Adolph Dalaney (b. 1940) works in the Reconstruction Room of the Traffic Police at the Liberia National Police Headquarters in the capital Monrovia. Monthly salary: barely 1,000 Liberian dollars (US $18, euro 17). Traffic accident victims at times are willing to pay a little extra if Dalaney”s department quickly draws up a favorable report to present to a judge.

Jan Banning

Bolivia (2005) — David Ruiz Doro (b. 1972) is chief of urban and environmental projects at the Department of Public Works’ Technical Division of the municipality Potosí, the capital of the department by the same name. Monthly salary: 2,400 bolivianos (euro 267, US $299).

Jan Banning

Bihar, India (2003) — Typeroom in the Finance Department of “the Old Secretariat” in the state capital Patna. The seemingly rusty old typewriters are awaiting use: the department is supposed to be 40% understaffed. The presence of several snoring employees gives a different suggestion.

Jan Banning

Yemen (2006) — Nadja Ali Gayt (b. 1969) is an adviser at the Ministry of Agriculture’s education center for rural women in the district of Manakhah, Sana Governorate. Monthly salary: 28,500 rial (US $160, euro 110).

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