Tuesday 15 April 2014

Born Free and Equal

"The purpose of my work was to show how people suffering under great injustice and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and despair by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment..." (Ansel Adams)


One hundred and ten thousand people.  Ten camps.  Two hundred and forty four photographs.  Born Free and Equal, a book of photographs compiled by Ansel Adams, illustrates the internment of Japanese Americans at Manzanar Internment Center during the Second World War.  Ansel Adams, invited by camp director Ralph Merritt, caught unforgettable images:  a football practice, a baseball game, a farmer proudly displaying his cabbages, a corporal dressed in his military uniform, a chemistry teacher, a biology class, a commercial artist, an electrical crew, and trucks driving down the main street.  One of the most famous photos shows workers picking vegetables in a field, the majestic mountains rising in the background.  
Manzanar became a city of its own where life went on, despite tremendous adversity.  And Ansel Adams was there to document it all.  

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