Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Bilder Aus Amerika

Bilder Aus Amerika - Eine Reise durch das schwarze Amerika. Now I am not exactly sure what those aforementioned words mean in the German language, though it seems that by the title of this book that I found on a friends bookshelf titled "Bilder Aus Amerika" by Jacob B Holdt, that this book has some serious photography in it and has something to do with black America, and images of the poor and rich, with its cover image of the seemingly depressing looking photo of a black woman who appears solely alone on it's cover as in that photo next to this blog post. And I would think that there must be an American English written version of this book floating around somewhere, though without understanding not a word in the German language this book is written in, a picture tells a story and speaks a thousand words without ever even reading the text. And the guy who wrote this book has photos of himself throughout this book as he traveled the land of America seemingly backpacking and hitchhiking his travels through it, maybe. And what an amazing feat these photos are to me that he has documented. And though I do not have that book before me at this moment as I blah blog away, from memory this book seems as one of those books that wants to leave a lasting impression to me with its black and white and color images of 1970's photos from America in it documenting the stark contrast between poverty and riches in America with its constant themes throughout it of images of the interior and private intimate lives and quarters of people in their bedrooms in most of these photos with images of pot belly stoves for cooking and heat or what not, ten children sleeping to a bed, piles of clothing piled miles high in bedrooms, empty refrigerators, miller beer cans strewn about, pepsi and coca cola ads as reappearing themes, lanterns, people either sleeping or dead on the sidewalks in front of pharmacies and liquor stores, the holy ghost in churches, people shooting up drugs with needles, images of slavery, the slave auction block of whole families torn apart with the sign that reads "$1,200 to $2,000 for negroes", people picking cotton in the cotton fields, tobacco plantations in North Carolina or somewhere in the south, images of prostitution, images of civil unrest, demonstrations from the civil rights movement, barking attack dogs from police, the Rockefeller law of seemingly oppression, abandoned buildings, children in poverty surrounded by images of piled up garbage, people living in shacks, crime, violence, crumbing buildings, falling down shacks and ghetto life contrasted with stark images of riches and mansions and how the other half lives. And this book almost seems as if it could have been one of those Jacob Riis How The Other Half Lives documentaries and seems to be a wake up call in life to me. Schiff ahoi, schiff ahoi a couple of passages reads in this book. Schiff ahoi.

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