Depression Era Photo Essay

She explains, “I often think photography is a reflection of the external world, and will therefore comment on and critique historical social discourses.As a public institution, we have a duty to raise public awareness of these issues.The work she generated during that time, including is situated within the greater context of the Dust Bowl Migration, when 300,000 people migrated from the Midwestern Dust Bowl states to California in search of stable work.

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The way she saw the world was through the framework of politics, and that visualization is what we are communicating with this exhibition.” —Cat Lachowskyj The exhibition Dorothea Lange: Politics of Seeing is on view at the Barbican Art Gallery in London from June 22 - September 2, 2018 as a double bill alongside an exhibition of photographer Vanessa Winship’s poetic approach to documentary work. This evacuee stands by her baggage as she waits for evacuation bus.“Dorothea felt that seeing the world was a political act.Photographing, for her, was always the politics of seeing.Regarding Lange’s legacy, associations with such an iconic image have simultaneously been a blessing and a curse.While the photographer’s name remains a bolded marker in the history of the medium, her career is often overshadowed by the single photograph, leaving far less room for knowledge of her greater oeuvre and impressive pursuits.She was principled and defiant and tireless in her pursuit of seeking justice, and I think we have a responsibility to show how that work is still relevant today.As an art institution, we don’t necessarily have a duty to educate, but we do have a duty to inform.” San Francisco, California.“Dorothea was looking at the forced migration of people; they were escaping economic poverty because social and economic policies that negatively affected them were being passed by policy-makers who knew it would directly harm these people.We’re looking at the beginning of the capitalistic individual society, and understanding that lineage is important if we’re to contextualize what’s going on in America today.” It’s important to note that Lange did not simply work to expose political injustice through images alone.“She was interested in showing the greater context, working in storyboards.She understood how to tell the story that needed to be shown.


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