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New Book on Photography as Activism

Photography As Activism: Images For Social Change

By Michelle Bogre

Published by Focal Press
ISBN: 9780240812755
167 pages
Price: $29.95 (USD)

In 2008, Michelle Bogre, an author, documentary photographer, and associate professor at Parsons The New School for Design and Eugene Lang College the New School for Liberal Arts, became increasingly concerned about the apathy she witnessed among young Americans about the upcoming Presidential election. She proposed and went on to teach a class about the history of photography and activism from its roots in the mid-1800s to the present day at Lang. The course became the springboard for her recently released, critically acclaimed book Photography As Activism: Images for Social Change, published by Focal Press. In the introduction she writes, “this book aims to examine the complexity of activist photography, historically, and as it is currently practiced. In this book, the word activism is interchangeable with advocacy.”

Photography As Activism traces the earliest instances of photographic activism through today’s emerging practices, profiling the most prominent activists of their time and their legendary images, among them civil war photographer Matthew Brady, social reformers Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine, and Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographers W. Eugene Smith and Dorothea Lange. The book presents in-depth interviews with contemporary photographer activists, including: Walter Astrada, Marcus Bleasdale, Stephen Dupont, Donna Ferrato, Edward Kashi, Eugene Richards, Sebastião Salgado, Stephen Shames, Brent Stirton, Tom Stoddart, and Jonathan Torgovnik. The book concludes with a comprehensive resource section for professionals to budding activists.

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Book cover credit: ©Jonathan Torgovnik/Reportage by Getty