The Coronavirus depression: here are some photos they may be looking at in 50 years

Posted: 30 April 2020 in Uncategorized
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In 2011, the Business Insider Australia put together a gallery of photos from the Second Great Depression. Their justification was that, “In 50 years, when historians write about this period. . .it will be photos like these that tell the story.”

Their idea was to assemble a collection that would serve the same purpose as the iconic photos of the first Great Depression (many of them having been carefully staged, edited, and cropped), which tell a particular story of that time and the people who fell victim to its widespread, dramatic, and devastating economic and social crises.

I decided to do the same for the current economic depression—even though, I fully understand, it’s far from being over. Actually, I started out by musing about the bread lines in the 1930s in comparison to the long lines outside food banks in recent weeks. Later, the idea expanded and I ended up with the following fifteen photos.

Clearly, these do not rise to the level of many of the photos from the first Great Depression, by such famous photographers as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Marion Post Wolcott. They’re all, with one exception (by Tom Barrett, the tenth one in the sequence, in Milwaukee), copied from online news media.

But together they do tell a story of these times. . .

1

G.E. employees and their families protest outside of Appliance Park in Louisville, KY

Cars line up in the parking lot at a drive-through food pantry at Woodland Mall in Grand Rapids, MI

A food bank at the Open Door Church of God in Christ in Brooklyn, NY

4

Amazon employees hold a protest over conditions at the company’s distribution facility on Staten Island, NY

5

Hew Kowalewski, a furloughed employee of Disney World, stands next to a window of his home in Kissimmee, FL

6

People who lost their jobs wait in line to file for unemployment benefits at an Arkansas Workforce Center in Fayetteville

7

Cashiers at a grocery store in Brooklyn, NY

8

A worker carries Amazon boxes in New York City

9

A tired healthcare worker is seen by the Brooklyn Hospital Center

10

Downer Theatre in Milwaukee, WI

11

34th Street in New York City

12

Passengers on the 24 Divisadero bus in San Francisco, CA

13

Central American migrants seeking asylum return to Mexico over the border bridge between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez

14

A pedestrian walks past graffiti that reads “Rent Strike” in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood

15

Milwaukee resident Jennifer Taff holds a sign as she waits in line to vote at Washington High School in Milwaukee, WI

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