"One should really use a camera as though tomorrow you’d be stricken blind." Dorothea Lange
COUNTRY : USA
Born in Hoboken (New Jersey) in 1895, Dorothea Lange (real name Margaretha Lange) is today an icon of photography thanks to her photos taken during the Depression. After a short period in New York, from 1918 Dorothea Lange began living in San Francisco and opened a portrait studio. The 1929 crisis urged the photographer to change her focus to the street. Black Thursday was the beginning of a world economic depression which led to a significant increase in unemployment; this is what Dorothea photographed in the street, with a firm goal: to increase awareness about the surrounding poverty. In 1935 she was noticed by the Resettlement Administration (Relocation Office), launched by Franklin Roosevelt’s government, she was then called some time afterwards by the Farm Security Administration (FSA). This American organization was created by the Ministry of Agriculture in 1937, to help the poorest farmers affected by the Depression. She lauded the exploitation of photography to use support from politic and economic spheres to create awareness of the social decline. So these photos belonged to the State, and were circulated thanks to their publication in newspapers across the country. Indefatiguably, Dorothea Lange photographed individuals caught up in the wheels of a delicate economic situation. But in 1943, following deep-rooted ideological disagreements with the American government, Dorothea decided to resign. With no aesthetic vocation but revealing her own view on poverty, her photos succeeded in having a political and social impact. She passed away on 11th October 1965 after suffering from cancer.
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