Photographs by Kit
In the past,
photographers wanting to document Nevada's workers headed for the
mines, forests, ranches and irrigated farmlands. But no more,
according to photojournalist Kit Miller. Today's workforce can be
found in the state's casinos.
Miller, a Nevada
native, says she took on the project of interviewing and
photographing this new Nevada workforce to confront some myths.
"The myths tell us that casino workers are stupid and really
exploited, that they're victims without a life." Instead, Miller
discovered diverse people with multifaceted lives, including many
women and recent immigrants who see their jobs as steps toward
Getting to know the people who
grease the wheels of the gambling empire was less difficult than
expected, Miller says. "A lot of the people I interviewed said,
"Geez, it's about time someone talked to us."
Miller hopes to publish a book based on her
photographs and interviews, but for now her work can be seen until
Nov. 3 at the C.I.T.Y. 2000 Gallery, Reno City Hall, 490 S. Center
St., Reno, Nevada (702/329-1324).
"Usually it doesn't
take long to fix a machine. When I'm done I show my hands to the
cameras so they see I don't have a handful of money. ... I work
swing shift, my wife works graveyard. It takes both of us to run
the house in this type of life." (Mike Hart shown here with his
are the only union hotel in town now. When the whole town is union
it's going to make it better for all of us ..."
Pai Gow Poker
"I came to the United
States because my husband is political refugee. The United States
government bought airplane tickets ... We arrived in Reno without
even a dollar! I just think it is beautiful, quiet, and very large,
quite different from my country."
came down to Reno and worked cocktailing for years. There was a lot
harassment. That was one of the
reasons I quit. The girls that had the best stations and the early
outs and Fourth of July off were the ones that were sleeping with
the boss. ... (At my new job) we're paid $7 an hour. The people at
Goals Unlimited don't think it's possible to live on minimum wage,
so they pay us what they think is right."
(Marilyn Jackson, front, shown here with her
counselor Gina Jackson at the office of the Committee to Aid Abused
I have free time, especially in May, June and July, I do a lot of
botanical consulting work. This plant here is one of the 18 I've
discovered new to science, and one of five that's named after me.
It's called stroganowia tiehmii. ... You have to have a life away
from the casino.
Otherwise, it's going to get to