The FSA and Magnum agencies

"The Farm Security Administration and Magnum
are two most significant agencies in the development of documentary photography”
In this essay I will discuss the importance of these two associations, I will try to cover the main reasons for their existence and try to understand what this existence has done for society. Even though these two agencies were both set up to feed society with information using visual photography, the style and aims were very different.
First of all, I will talk about the FSA, who brought it about? and how it was controlled?
The Farm Security Administration was created in the department of agriculture in 1937. The FSA was a new deal program along with the RA (Resettlement Administration) designed to assist poor farmers during the Dust Bowl and the great depression. Many photographers were involved within the FSA including: Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Ben Shahn, Russell Lee, Howard Lieberman, and Edwin Locke. An important figure for the FSA was Roy Stryker who was head of a special photographic section in the RA and FSA from 1935-1942. Roy Stryker’s unit was sent out on assignments throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.The office distributed photographic equipment and film, drew up budgets, allocated travel funds, hired staff, developed, printed, and numbered most negatives, reviewed developed film, edited photographers’ captions written in the field, and maintained files of negatives, prints, and captions. The main office also distributed images to newspapers, magazines, and book publishers, and supplied photographs to exhibitions.
Photographers were encouraged to record anything that might shed additional light on the topic that they were photographing, and they received training in making personal contacts and interviewing people.
Most of the time the photographers mailed their exposed negatives to the photographic unit’s lab in Washington for developing, numbering and printing….


I'm Sandulf

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