Depression Diaries. Dorothea Lange and her Documentary Photography Work during the Great Depression in America Anonym Author
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Seminar paper from the year 2018 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,7, University of Koblenz-Landau, language: English, abstract: In diaries, people reflect their own reality and their individual feelings. There are no lies, and even if others would state there are, the diary's owner would still reject that, claiming that the reputed lies are their own reality. Hence, diaries are considered as somehow reporting the truth, or at least one kind of individual truth. Yet what about Dorothea Lange's photographs of the Great Depression? Are they the actual truth or are they her interpretation? One says that a picture is worth a thousand words. People have an idea of what the Great Depression in America looked like, owed to different photographers who portrayed both economic and cultural consequences of the global crisis. One of those photographers was Dorothea Lange. In a first examination of her work documenting the people behind the Great Depression in America, I quickly noticed that critics are either in favour of, or against Lange's photographic work. Since I could not agree with either position, I decided that I want to find my own. By studying and examining different photographs both in the context of the Great Depression and the traditional idea behind documentary photography, I finally discovered what I think of her work. Beginning her career as a documentary photographer, Lange acted as a silent observer behind the camera. She recorded what America's people had to suffer during the depression process without any editing or staging. Yet throughout the years, Lange increasingly went astray the path of documentary photography's basic concepts. Correspondingly, I argue that Dorothea Lange in some of the presented works succeeded in recording reality according to the standard set of photojournalism. However, in others she disregarded or even broke unwritten rules of documentary photography.


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