'You Can't Photograph a Collateralized Debt Obligation'

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The most iconic images of the Great Depression passed through Dorothea Lange’s camera. These days you can’t help but see the ghosts of Lange’s portraits in photos and video footage from the darkest corners of the current economic crisis. Clinical Psychologist and blogger Michael Shaw makes a dreadfully direct link, blogging at the always compelling BAGnewsNotes about a series of tent city photos taken in Sacramento, California, the same city where Lange took photos like these:

Compare those shots to this photograph of Karen Hersh, an out of work truck driver, cleaning her Sacramento tent city home several decades later.

The online magazine Slate has invited readers to submit photographs from the economic crisis to its Flickr page, and Lange is there too. A standout of the submissions so far is this photograph of a tent pitched on a blighted corner of Portland, Oregon.

In Slate‘s call for photographs, they lay out the challenge of photographing this new depression: “You can’t take a photograph of a collateralized debt obligation.”

Sources: BAGnewsNotesSlateLibrary of Congress

Images by Dorothea Lange

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