Thursday, April 21, 2011
First, a little background: in the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired freelance photographers to travel around America and document everyday life, agency activities, and anything relating to environmental problems. It was called the Documerica Project. The U.S. National Archives has catalogued about 15,000 images, and I just discovered that a portion of them are available on the USNA's Flickr page. Jackpot!
For his part, photographer David Hiser (that's him in the last photo) chose the American southwest. He hiked around Utah's Canyonlands National Park, capturing both the magnificent landscape and its tragic abuses. The third photo shows ruts left by illegal off-road vehicles, but there was also dumping and rampant graffiti (over Native American pictographs! Idiots!).
The record of images created by this project is breathtaking, not only historically but culturally as well. You can surely expect to see more from this collection here in the future.
Photographs by David Hiser, from the U.S. National Archives on Flickr. Read more about the Documerica Project here.
at 9:13 AM