Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Flashes From the Slums

In Flashes from the Slums, Jacob Riis a police reporter from 1888 leads around reporters from the New York Sun. These reporters are taking pictures in the evening and night. The purpose of this for Jacob Riis, was "besides the interest in taking of the pictures, was the collection of a series of views for magic lantern slides, showing, as no more description could, the misery and vice that he had noticed..."in the slums of New York City. (Riis) Riis' graphic images such as the Growler Gang to the left were a bunch of misplaced youths who would just drink their money away and would luckily find a place to stay overnight. Photographs such as this were used to persuade and engage "the emotions of society to make a social or olitical argument "that could "easily provoke strong feeling of outrage or sympathy" that could be used to facilitate social persuasion for the betterment of society. Other pictures that Riis features are of tenement houses and the "misery and destitution" of those who inhabit them. (Riis) This article by Riis and the photographs taken quickly became a powerful tool for "social reform and mass persuasion."


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