Saturday, December 10, 2016

A trove of internment camp era photographs from photographer Dorothea Lange has recently surfaced online. has a thorough and great collection of information lifted from the National Archives. I don't think many, if any, other photo collections of this magnitude exists, so it is truly a gift to be able to experience them now- after it's spent most of it's known existence in censored obscurity. I don't even need to explain why recently there has been a larger presence of older Japanese Americans in the media speaking out against the rhetoric and proposed policies of Trump's incoming nightmare administration.

Dorothea Lange—well-known for her FSA photographs like Migrant Mother—was hired by the U.S. government to make a photographic record of the “evacuation” and “relocation” of Japanese-Americans in 1942. She was eager to take the commission, despite being opposed to the effort, as she believed “a true record of the evacuation would be valuable in the future.”

The military commanders that reviewed her work realized that Lange’s contrary point of view was evident through her photographs, and seized them for the duration of World War II, even writing “Impounded” across some of the prints. The photos were quietly deposited into the National Archives, where they remained largely unseen until 2006.