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Discovering Jacob Riis, the original Human Rights photo activist (1870's)

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posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 02:46 AM
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This hero is so hardly told he's a legend for that alone. In the 1870's, he was a major proponent against poverty, in New York City. It wasn't until the invention of flash lighting techniques was he able to even photograph the dark images of the human condition that he was trying to expose.




Jacob August Riis (May 3, 1849 - May 26, 1914), was a Danish American social reformer, muckraking journalist and social documentary photographer. He is known for his dedication to using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the impoverished in New York City, which was the subject of most of his prolific writings and photography. He helped with the implementation of "model tenements" in New York with the help of humanitarian Lawrence Veiller. As one of the most prominent proponents of the newly practicable flash, he is considered a pioneer in photography.
en.wikipedia.org...



This man needs to be celebrated. In one regard to his recognition, in the other to carrying on his work. The real challenge to the latter is actually getting images of the other side of the human condition to where it matters. Thanks to the Internet, we're able to take media to people in their domains of ignorance. However, it still needs a shot at the rest of the masses.

Recall how the news anchors were forced to openly admit that the US had never had to see or acknowledge the true poverty crisis in the US, after the entire world had seen teh horrors of Hurricane Katrina.

Avenues such as CNN's iReport can be used for trying to reach the rest of the masses. The real key isn't merely finding images online and reposting them, it's in actually getting down into the grim yourself, and for everyone to be flooding the Internet streams with new media.

Poverty is on its way to us all if we don't stand up, People, and this could be a way to motivate people into resisting the growing trend, and the concept of poverty altogether.

[edit on 27-6-2010 by IgnoranceIsntBlisss]




posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 11:33 AM
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Bravo for Jacob Riis! Thanks for posting this. Much of the problem of the NY came from overly high immigration quotas which benefited the factory owners through cheap labor (any parallels with today? hmm...).
Hell's kitchen earned it's name honestly.
Riis deserves a place in history. His work help millions by creating awareness which then turned to action. How the rich actually benefited from the reforms is a whole other story.
S&F



posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss
 


Well I am a big fan of Riis, and not for "social justice" (gross) but just for soul-stealing...I've used a lot of his photos cut-up (what was the book, How The Other Half Lives?) as a substrate/source for artwork...His work has good architectural flavor bits in it too.



posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 01:09 AM
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reply to post by nine-eyed-eel
 


I get what you mean by Social Justice. But awareness of how bad it is out there, which most all of us are facing, is something people need to take a break from polishing their rims from and do some deep thinking. It may motivate people to take our system of entangled enslavement back so that we most might prosper and make a difference beyond.



posted on Jun, 28 2010 @ 01:22 AM
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reply to post by IgnoranceIsntBlisss
 


Yes usually people preach "social justice" as a hypocritical career move, to make themselves look good...almost always, in fact...

But the photographs are beautiful, just from an artistic viewpoint...like Weegee's... or like them turn-of-the-century police murder-scene photos in that book edited by Joel-Peter Witkin Harm's Way...



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