Sunday, 30 November 2014

Urban Poverty

1930s America- The Great Depression

Like many urban Americans who were victims of the 'Great Depression', these children pictured above, are indication of the sign 'Hoover's poor Farm', to be residents of 'Hooverville' (named after president Hoover). Shanty town set ups, these communities  of the poor , were common within major cities, for example Central Park Reservoir in 1931-1933,  They existed for those who were not able to pay for rent or became destitute in other ways. Not only is this photo hard hitting, because of the presentation of children in such a depressing environment, The fact that they are almost a literal sympathy advertisement feature, as they advertise the 'Hoover's Poor Farm - Tobacco Fund' indicating people of the time had to resort to begging to obtain tobacco and other products. Additionally, it can been seen as a piece of protest propaganda, designed to create a negative attitude toward the President, which i believe it does strongly do.

2014 America - The Great Recession

I picked this photo, because i wanted to see if the visual impact of one children themed photo from 1931 would be similar in 2014. The image again portrays the difficulties faced during periods of financial hardship. The use of signs saying 'please help' and 'work for food' is further evidence of the limited stability that occurs in families. Although, the image does not show the state of the living conditions the american poor have to live in, unlike the picture above, that clearly shows the almost primitive types of housing available. The use of children in these images , create a significant question of the position the mothers have to deal with.

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