Monday, April 17, 2006
Militant Unemployed Workers Movement
Images of the Unemployed in New Deal Photography: "The Forgotten Man" versus the Militant Unemployed Workers Movement.by Jeannette Gabriel.
..This study seeks to build on the prior research work by examining conflicting images within the FSA collection of the unemployed. While the vast majority of FSA images of the unemployed portray them as passive, listless, and in need of assistance, there is a small body of FSA pictures showing the unemployed engaged in organizing through the national organization of the unemployed, the Workers Alliance of America. While there are only eleven images of the Workers Alliance, these few images provide a glimpse of a national, powerful movement that impacted the lives of the unemployed. For too long, the experience of the unemployed during the Great Depression has been viewed solely from the perspective of the New Deal reformers and the solutions they offered. This trajectory strips the unemployed of the power they had to develop their own alternatives and to fight for them. These two sets will be contrasted to the larger body of images that the FSA utilized to help promote the New Deal agenda.