Moving Images

LangeEven when Dorothea Lange wrote extensive captions explaining the content of her photographs, those descriptions were often modified or simply overridden by the War Relocation Authority (WRA). For instance, this photograph is a representation of the moment when the government attempted to strip Japanese Americans of their identities as individuals, reducing them to a racial identity and then sanitizing that identity with the substitution of a number for a name. The WRA abridged Lange’s caption, however, and under the “data” entry wrote, “Just about to step into the bus for the Assembly Center.” (Jasmine Alinder)

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