American Pictures: A Personal Journey Through the American Underclass



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American Pictures: A Personal Journey Through the American Underclass
Jacob Holdt

American Pictures is a collection of approximately 22,000 photos revealing racism, segregation, social hierarchies and white supremacy. The powerful pictures of Danish photographer Jacob Holdt were not taken with an artistic intention but rather to capture the hardship and brutal reality of America in the 1970s. Holdt’s work portraits life in ghettos ranging from poverty, homelessness and oppression to drug abuse, crime and despair.

The collection is very diverse and thus provides a great basis for cross-curricular teaching regarding the subjects of History and Politics. Also, the photos are used in higher education to discuss racism and class relations. The full text can be found on Hold’s website, but individual pictures, slide shows and a movie are available, too.

· · 1977

Critical edition

Holdt, Jacob. American Pictures. Amer Pictures, 1985. 304 pp., ISBN 9788798170204

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In favour of this entry

  • Addresses current affairs
  • Award-winning
  • Democratic and political education
  • Explores historical contexts
  • Intercultural perspectives
  • Interdisciplinary or cross-curricular teaching
  • Silenced voices