Documerica

June 07, 2013

DOCUMERICA was a project sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency during the early 1970s. After decades of economic growth in the United States, the newly founded EPA wanted to document "subjects of environmental concern" in the country. Photographers were given a lot of freedom in photographing not only environmental problems but also in capturing the trends, fashions and spirits of the 70s. The resulting 20.000 images made it eventually into the National Archives and are on exhibition in Washington, D.C., until September 8:

The exhibition is split into the themes "Ball of Confusion", "Everybody is a star" and "Pave Paradise":

One of the walls contains a collection of images by famous photojournalist and pulitzer price winner John H. White, who was on assignment in Chicago's African American community:

The sign on the wall states that White is staff photographer at the Chicago Sun-Times. Which was true when the exhibition had been created! However, White, who is teaching photography at college level and who is considered by many as one of the best photojournalists around, has been wiped out a few days ago, when the Sun-Times management decided to lay off its whole photography staff of 30 people (see the story on the NPPA website).

Anyway, the exhibition is nice and very much worth visiting, as is the accompanying book "Searching for the Seventies". If you're interested to take a look at the images, 15000 of them are available online

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