Monday, April 14, 2008

jacob riss

Jacob Riis used his camera to create a documentary on life on the streets. He put together a montage of photos with caption titled, “As the other half lives.” Jacob knows from experience how life was on the streets. After emigrating to the United among hard times, his only companion was a dog which was killed by a police officer. After that moment, Jacob decided that it was imperative that people saw how the other half lived. The streets were over run by crime. Little children were forced to live in gutters, as many of Jacobs photos depict. Little was done to prevent the travesties because many may not have known the extent of the problem. Child labor was an issue that many didn’t know about, or simply didn’t care. Jacob was allowed into factories to take pictures because he got a job with The Sun. his many photos and documentaries, awakened others to what was actually occurring in their city. Many slept in 7 cent lodges or even passed out in bars. Time were rough for many but Jacobs efforts made people aware. His many photos of poor old woman sleeping in rooms unfit for anyone, images of gangs on Mulberry street, and babies sleeping over grates in the streets as people passed by, made many realize that something had to be done.


At 3:30 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post. Riis used photography to expose the ills of slum life. His slide shows and the illustrations in his books were powerful arguments for progressive reform. In this period the progressive journalists and politicians are discovering the power of the image to persuade.


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