Living in Cleveland, I’ve witnessed the dramatic decline of what was a major industrial center, where thousands of people worked in good-paying, secure jobs, creating, building, producing through physical and mental strength, and collectively. That is largely—but not entirely—gone.
Today, the media talk about trying to recover the jobs lost during the Bush years. Jobs lost in the 70s, 80s and 90s aren’t even discussed any more.
And those people who still work in Cleveland in union jobs—in what remains of our industry, in service areas, as clericals, and more—are unseen and unappreciated by the media and the art world.
Lewis Hine said, "I wanted to show the things that had to be corrected. I wanted to show the things that had to be appreciated." We documentarians have to present people not only as victims of social problems, but also as strong, creative, resistant—which in fact they are.
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