Can Photography Help Us Through Environmental Crisis?
Joseph Pulitzer said that the role of a journalist was to “comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.” Many environmental photographs show the victims of environmental abuse in order to humanize the problem and make the case for change. These photographs are in the tradition of the muckrakers of the turn of the century and the Farm Security Administration photos shot during the Depression. I believe these photographs are a necessary part of an environmental story. However, their success depends on the visual nature and severity of the problem, as well as the empathy of the viewer.