Over the weekend, I went to see Finding Vivian Maier, a new documentary about an unknown street photographer whose brilliant work was first discovered when the filmmaker bought her negatives at an auction. In trying to uncover Maier’s mysterious life, there’s an interview with a genealogist who looked into her family history, and he describes Maier as a spinster. It has been awhile since I’ve heard that word, and I find its use lazy, reductive and unsatisfying. It still rattles me.
Digital papercut illustration by Eiko Ojala