Focus on the Social Margins


"I really believe there are things which nobody would see unless I photographed them." —Diane Arbus

Works that take social difference as their theme, documenting individuals or groups deemed to be marginal by society. Like Jacob A. Riis's seminal social documentary book How the Other Half Lives, which captured immigrants and poor people with compassionate directness, or Honoré Daumier's political prints of 19th-century France's disenfranchised, such works may destabilize our perception of what is "mainstream" or central to a culture, versus what is "different" or peripheral. Some of the most famous photographers of the past century, like Arbus and Nan Goldin, have drawn attention to racial, ethnic, or religious minorities, the disabled, bohemians, and individuals marginalized due to their sexual orientation.

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