WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- In 1942, the US Government hired renowned photographer Dorothea Lange to document the "evacuation" and "relocation" of Japanese-Americans. Despite disagreeing with the internment, Lange took the job and produced a striking set of photographs showing citizens who were forced to register, dispose of their property and livelihoods, and live in camps behind barbed wire and guard towers. After seeing her images, the military impounded her photographs for the duration of World War II, later depositing them in the National Archives, where they remained mostly unseen and unpublished until recently.
Noticing parallels to the current political climate, Anchor Editions, a fine art print shop in Washington DC, recently reprinted the photos to create a conversation about immigration and raise funds for organizations fighting the Muslim ban.
"The tide of racism and xenophobia that led to the Japanese concentration camps in 1942 is swelling again today," says Tim Chambers, photographer and printer for Anchor Editions. "My hope is that today's audience viewing photographs from this shameful period in our history will remember the need to resist any violation of civil and human rights now."
Chambers digitized and restored some of Lange's negatives from the National Archives, published a photo essay, and sold limited-edition prints, donating half of the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Several editions sold out in as little as three days, and to date, Anchor Editions has donated over $35,000 to the ACLU.
This month, Anchor Editions released more prints after completing new restorations of several of Lange's negatives. Half of the new print sales will be donated to the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), which works to protect the rights of Americans, particularly low-income immigrants and their families.
"Through social media, and discussions online, in galleries, and in the classroom, Dorothea Lange is finding a new audience and relevance as our country faces another inflection point in how we treat our citizens and immigrants," Chambers said. "The response has been overwhelming. One woman even found her great-grandfather pictured in one of the images, and I've heard many similar stories of personal connections to the photographs." Anchor Editions hopes the newly-restored photographs will connect with people in a similar way, widening the margin of support for the work of the ACLU and NILC.
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SOURCE Anchor Editions