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  • Titill er á ensku Ruined Lives and Urban Ruins. How Jacob Riis exposed the brutal life of immigrants in New York City’s largest slum, Lower East Side.
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    Riis personal and professional journey, from journalist to social reformer marked him as one of the touchstone figures of his time. Armed with pioneering skills of investigative reporting and the latest inventions in photography, he set the path for documentary photography in the United States. His book How the Other Half Lives, published in 1890, exposed the brutal life of immigrants in New York City’s largest slum, the Lower East Side.
    I will begin this essay, with a brief introduction to the development of photography up to the end of the nineteenth century, as well as an introduction to documentary photography. I will also briefly discuss, some key events in history during the time discussed up to the Progressive Era and the mass immigration to the United States that shaped the history of the nation from its founding to the present.
    This thesis explores Jacob Riis’ main approaches to make necessary social changes to the stigma of poverty that surrounded the New York City’s slums, in the late nineteenth century, which at the time were among the most crowded urbanized areas in the world. Equally, I will pay special attention to his powerful combination of descriptive words and effective style in photography, in one of the groundbreaking illustration book published in America that helped to gain the attention needed.

  • 10.5.2013

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