The Revolution Was Photographed


Anthony Friedkin:  The Gay Essay
by Julian Cox and Eileen Myles
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Yale Univ. Press. 144 pages, $45.

Exhibition at the de Young Museum, San Francisco,
June 14, 2014 – Jan. 11, 2015


THE WORD “DOCUMENT” is from the Latin docere, to teach, instruct, or point out. When coupled with “photography,” the idea is that the camera acquires a kind of moral authority when recording social conditions or promoting social change. Documentary photographs function as visual narratives with ramifications that extend beyond the frame. Such images perform an evidentiary function: as character studies of marginalized populations and grassroots political movements for social justice; and as rural and urban histories that depict natural or man-made disasters of displacement, homelessness, poverty, war, and trauma.

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All figures copyright © 2014 by Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Yale University Press.


Steven F. Dansky has been an activist, writer, and photographer for more than fifty years. He is the founder of OUTSpoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers.


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