Posts in category "Documentary"

Vietnam War Photography: commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War

Vietnam War Photography: commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War
The 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War is being commemorated by the Associated Press with a photography book called Vietnam: The Real War, A Photographic History by the Associated Press. Pete Hamill, a photographer who worked in Vietnam at the time, wrote the introduction. “Say the word ‘Vietnam’ today to most people of a certain... Read more »

Vietnam: 10 things I learned in Saigon

Vietnam: 10 things I learned in Saigon
This summer I was in Saigon Vietnam doing research for a class I’ll be teaching in Southeast Asia next summer. I am very excited about this class. Southeast Asia has long had a complicated pull on me, sparked by the U.S. war in Vietnam which raged during my early childhood. Complexities from that conflict are... Read more »

Photographs, Violence and Place: Christmas Lessons for Change Following the Newtown Tragedy

Bandit's Roost (1888) by Jacob Riis, from "How the Other Half Lives". This image is Bandit's Roost at 59½ Mulberry Street, considered the most crime-ridden, dangerous part of New York City.

Riis’ book "How the Other Half Lives" was first published as an article in the 1889 Christmas issue of Scribner's Magazine.
Since the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, CT, I’ve been thinking about photographers who focus on social change in efforts to end suffering and injustice. Since early in its history, photography has intersected with the idea that giving view to tragedy can help prevent it. Photographs can offer evidence – a look into... Read more »
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A Short History of America

A Short History of America
In honor of the 4th of July, I offer this, from the great cartoonist R. Crumb. Crumb drew “A Short History of America” in 1979. It shows an urban landscape gradually obliterating a single wilderness scene. Later, Crumb added three possible scenarios to the question posed in the final panel: “What Next?”. He drew a... Read more »

Revolutionary Color Photography and William Eggleston and Me

"Memphis". William Eggleston. 1970's
In the 1970′s, William Eggleston made a photograph in Memphis Tennessee containing the small details of a home’s front door and a basketful of posies. Dappled light flitters across the surface revealing textures of paint and rust. The image stops me in my tracks. The details so revealing of social class and expectation, of design... Read more »

Les Blank's films of people and place

I had the honor this weekend of seeing Les Blank’s superb film which title I cannot name. A legal falling out with the musician who’s the subject of the film means that the film can only be shown when Blank is present, and without publicizing the title nor subject. Weird, huh. But the upshot of... Read more »
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