Everyone Had Cameras : Photography and Farmworkers in California, 1850-2000

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-11-07
  • Publisher: Univ of Minnesota Pr

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American photographers have been fascinated by the lives of California farmworkers since the time of the daguerreotype. From the earliest Gold Rushera images and the documentary photographs taken during the Great Depression to digital images today, photographers and farmworkers in California have had a complicated and continuously changing bond. InEveryone Had Cameras, Richard Steven Street provides a comprehensive history of the significant presence of California farmworkers in the visual culture of America. Streetrs"s account spans 150 years and sheds a new perspective on some of Americars"s photographic masters, such as Carleton E. Watkins, Ansel Adams, and Dorothea Lange, and brings to light heretofore unknown and unheralded work by perceptive amateurs, socially committed journeymen, digital documentarians, commercial propagandists, and left-wing critics. Through their artistry, these figures powerfully revealed-and at times obscured-the human cost of industrial agriculture and cheap food. Photographers are deeply embedded in the farmworker story, Street shows, and it cannot be understood without paying attention to their ever-evolving vision. Indeed, cameras are so prevalent on picket lines and at strikes and demonstrations that it is normal to see not only photojournalists but also police, protesters, and growers awaiting a decisive-or incriminating-moment to capture. Deftly weaving the remarkable diversity of field photography into this story of labor activism,Everyone Had Camerasestablishes a new history of California photography while chronicling the impact that this visual medium-called by some the common currency of modern dialogue-has had on a vast, dispossessed class of American workers.

Table of Contents

Origins and Patterns, 1767-1934
Before Photography: Images from the Era of Conquest and Colonizationp. 3
Competing Visions: Photography and Paintingp. 34
An Old Master in a New Place: Carleton E. Watkins in the Fieldsp. 68
Progressive Photography Takes Hold: Strikes, Murders, and Mexicansp. 90
An Attitude of Engagement: Photography Takes the Side of the Poorp. 118
Photography and the Great Depression: A New Way of Seeingp. 141
The Emergence of the Social Documentary Tradition, 1935-1942
Facing People as Human Beings: Dorothea Lange Finds Her Callingp. 165
Under the Most Trying Conditions: Lange's Reports on Migrants and Dust Bowl Refugeesp. 186
Don't Let Them Break Your Camera: Migrant Mother and the Dispossessedp. 209
Photo Eye on Salinas: Press Photographers and the Salinas Valley Lettuce Packers' Strikesp. 232
Always One of Your People: Lange Hits the Roadp. 248
A Record of Human Erosion: Lange in the American Southwestp. 267
Facts and Fiction: An American Exodus and The Grapes of Wrathp. 293
The Persistence of Documentary Photography, 1942-1965
Photographs of Truth and Propaganda: Documentary Continuity and Perversionp. 325
Poverty in the Valley of Plenty: Suppression of the Documentary Idealp. 349
Rented Slaves: The Resurgence of Documentary Photographyp. 379
Photography and Cesar Chavez's Farmworker Struggle: Activists with Camerasp. 399
Everyone Had Cameras, 1965-2005
The Delano Grape Strike and Boycott: Freelancers Step Forwardp. 421
A Spirit of Hope among People: Photographers as Organizersp. 448
Icons of Struggle: Photographing Thugs and Violencep. 465
News Photographers Take Over: Elections and Riots in Californiap. 485
Photographing the Human Condition: Undocumented Workers, Pesticides, and Farmworker Communitiesp. 508
Photographers and Farmworkers Today: Toward a Global Languagep. 537
Acknowledgmentsp. 571
Notesp. 579
Indexp. 697
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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