December 27, 2010

FSA christmas

It's not popular to admit, but I'm not always drawn to documentary photography. There's often a perception that labeling a photograph as "documentary" automatically makes it truthful and without bias, ulterior motive or specific intent. I tend to feel quite the opposite about many "documentary" images - particularly in photography's current age of digital capture and easy accessibility.

I don't feel that way about photographs from the Farm Security Administration project. A few months ago, the marvelous and uber-talented Candice @ Sea of Tea posted some beautiful colour photographs from the FSA project database. This one has really stayed with me - there's something so pure and simple about it.

children asleep on a bed during a square dance

I spent a few minutes searching the collection the other day and found these pictures documenting Christmas scenes. The colour images are beautifully nostalgic - I like to imagine (fantasize) that it was a less commercial and more magical time. The austerity of the black and white images have a certain beauty about them though my heart aches at the thought of those families then and so many today who struggle to provide their children with the most basic of necessities.

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