Portrait d’une prostituée, Paris, ca. 1930

Portrait of a prostitute, Paris, ca. 1930

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

“Mauvaises filles”: Portrait of a prostitute (photo by Monsieur X) Paris, ca. 1930

In the early 20th century, Paris was a hotspot for prostitution. In those days, men didn’t have very exciting sex lives with their wives. Also, if you were a man in the middle class, you would get married by 35. There would always be some misbehaving uncle to show you the joys of a brothel once you hit puberty.
Alexandre Dupouy is a sex archaeologist. The French collector has spent his entire life collecting what he defines as “erotic and pornographic junk.” His shop, the Tears of Eros—now open only by appointment—has been selling pictures, paintings, and sex objects for almost half a century. It’s a sort of small museum that traces the history of sex in France.
In 1975, he received a call from a bookseller friend who said that he had an old gentleman with “something special to show him.” What he had was a luxury car with a trunk full of black-and-white photographs of naked and smiling prostitutes from the 1930s. He explained that he took most of the pictures in a brothel on the Rue Pigalle. Given that he could feel his days were numbered, the old man agreed to part with the pictures as long as he could remain anonymous. That man became known as “Monsieur X.”
On the back of the photos Monsieur X wrote the name of each girl: Mado, Suzette, Gypsi, Mimi, Nono, Pepe, etc. Monsieur X must have been close, friendly, and generous with the ladies. What is amazing is that the girls seem very relaxed in the pictures—they are actually having fun. There are even outdoor pictures taken on the banks of the Marne. He also directed two ten-minute short films, shot both outdoors and indoors. These two pieces really revealed his biggest fantasy: putting two girls together. One played a modest girl, while the other tried to be a stripper.
There are a lot of similarities to Gustave Courbet’s The Origin of the World. He also liked pretty exhibitionists. Or E. J. Bellocq—the New Orleans photographer who was also a regular customer of a local brothel, eventually making friends with the girls so that he could take any picture he wanted.
Nearly four decades later, Dupouy has decided to reprint some of this impressive collection as a book called Mauvaises filles (Bad Girls). The book is co-authored by both Dupouy and Monsieur X and published by La manufacture des livres, in 2014.
(Follow the link below to read the full interview of Alexandre Dupouy, in vice.com)
Sources / More to read:
Vice : Charming Pornographic Photographs of French Prostitutes from the 1930s
La manufacture des livres: Mauvaises filles
Amazon.co.uk: Mauvaises filles, Portraits de prostituées 1925-1935

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Circus workers, Cologne, ca. 1926

aka. Indian Man and German Woman
August Sander, part six

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Zirkusarbeiter, Köln, 1926 (Die Photographische Sammlung / SK Stiftung Kultur – August Sander Archiv)

August Sander (1876–1964) was a German portrait and documentary photographer. He has been described as “the most important German portrait photographer of the early twentieth century”. August Sander took a methodological approach in his monumental documentary project People of the 20th Century. He classified his photographs into seven groups and multiple sub-groups, reflecting the social structures and developments of his time. This portrait is from the portfolio entitled ‘Travelling People – Fair and Circus’ within the sixth group, ‘The City’. It is one of a series of photographs that August Sander took of performers and other members of the famous Barum Circus. Between 1926 and 1929 the circus toured the Rhineland cities of Dortmund, Remscheid and Cologne. Sander portrayed the circus people as representatives of a certain urban type that he named ‘travelling people’, which also included vagrants and gypsies. The caravans, tents and makeshift domestic environments depicted in the photographs of the members of the Barum Circus emphasise the nomadic nature of their lives. During the Weimar era (1918–33) circus caravans wound their way across Germany, occupying urban wastelands and other ‘in-between’ spaces, momentarily revitalising them as sites of wonder, exoticism and permissiveness. In the popular culture of Sander’s Germany, the mobile circus milieu was synonymous with ‘dangerous’ and ‘primitive’ types – particularly gypsies and people of colour. Sander’s dispassionate circus shots feature both these ‘types’. Historians have used them to illustrate the photographer’s liberal values, values that led to his victimisation under Nazism.
The Circus Barum was founded in 1878 by the East Prussian animal dealer Carl Froese in Konigsberg as Barum’s American Caravan menagerie. After the death of Carl Froese in 1907, his daughter Helene took over the management together with her husband, the animal trainer Arthur Kreiser. From 1935, Margarete Kreiser-Barum, the daughter of Kreisers, continued the family business. She run the circus successfully through the years of the Second World War until it was destroyed in a bomb attack in 1944. In 1946, she dared a new beginning and toured with a new Circus Barum until her death in 1970.  In 1972, Gerd Siemoneit-Barum bought the circus and directed it until 2008. On 26 October 2008 the last performance of the Circus Barum took place in Northeim. Rebecca Siemoneit-Barum and her company Barum & Bauer Performance GmbH took over a part of the animal stock and staff. Since 2012, she is presenting the “Circus Barum Weihnachtsspektakel” in Gottingen.
Sources/More to Read:
Wikipedia: August Sander
Tate Papers, Katherine Tubb: “Face to Face? An Ethical Encounter with Germany’s Dark Strangers in August Sander’s People of the Twentieth Century”
Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur
August Sander Foundation
Tate, London
Wikipedia: Circus Barum (in German)

See also my other posts about August Sander’s work
Widower with his sons, Cologne, 1914
Confirmation candidate, 1911
The Notary, Cologne, 1924
National Socialist, Germany, 1937
Officer
Cadet, Germany, 1944

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Out of Work, New York, 1921

Emil Otto Hoppé – Part One
Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Out of Work, New York, USA, 1921 ((E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection))

Out of Work, New York, USA, 1921 (E.O. Hoppé Estate Collection)

Emil Otto Hoppé (1878–1972) was a German-born British portrait, travel, and topographic photographer active between 1907 and 1945. Born to a wealthy family in Munich, he moved to London in 1900 to train as a financier. While working for the Deutsche Bank, he became increasingly enamored with photography and, in 1907, jettisoned his commercial career and opened a portrait studio.
Within a few years, E.O. Hoppé was the undisputed leader of pictorial portraiture in Europe. Rarely in the history of the medium has a photographer been so famous in his own lifetime among the general public. His reputation attracted many important British and North American figures in politics, literature, and the arts. In the era before the first World War, Hoppé photographed many leading literary subjects and figures from the art world, such as Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, John Masefield, Léon Bakst, Anna Pavlova, Tamara Karsavina and other dancers of the Ballets Russes, Violet Hunt, Richard Strauss, Jacob Epstein and William Nicholson, some of whom were included in his 1913 exhibition.
In the early 1920s he was invited to photograph Queen Mary, King George, and members of the royal family. Other subjects of the 1920s included Albert Einstein, Benito Mussolini, Robert Frost, Aldous Huxley, George Bernard Shaw and A.A. Milne. In the 1930s Hoppé photographed a number of dancers at the Vic-Wells company including Margot Fonteyn, Ninette de Valois, Hermione Darnborough and Beatrice Appleyard.
Hoppé also made portraits of the street types of London: he photographed English cleaners, maids, and street vendors both in his studio and on the street. He continued this practice of capturing ordinary working men and women throughout his career as he traveled throughout the world.
Although Hoppé was one of the most important photographic artists of his era and highly celebrated in his time, in 1954, at the age of 76, he sold his body of photographic work to a commercial London picture archive, the Mansell Collection. In the collection, the work was filed by subject in with millions of other stock pictures and no longer accessible by author. Almost all of Hoppé’s photographic work—that which gained him the reputation as Britain’s most influential international photographer between 1907 and 1939—was accidentally obscured from photo-historians and from photo-history itself. It remained in the collection for over thirty years after Hoppé’s death, and was not fully accessible to the public until the collection closed down and was acquired by new owners in the United States.
In 1994 photographic art curator Graham Howe retrieved Hoppé’s photographic work from the picture library and rejoined it with the Hoppé family archive of photographs and biographical documents. This was the first time since 1954 that the complete E.O.Hoppé Collection was gathered together. Many years were spent in cataloguing, conservation, and research of the recovered work.
Sources/More to Read:
Wikipedia: E.O. Hoppé
E.O. Hoppé state collection
National Portrait Gallery, Hoppé Collection

Female Workers of the Chocolate Factory Cima-Norma, Switzerland, 1904-1932

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Operaie della fabbrica di cioccolato Cima Norma 1904-1932 (Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso)

Operaie della fabbrica di cioccolato Cima Norma 1904-1932 (Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta, Corzoneso)

Roberto Donetta (1865-1932) is one of Swiss photography’s great outsiders.
He was born in the Blenio Valley in Ticino, one of the poorest regions in Switzerland; an Italian-speaking territory to the south of the Alps. Donetta had married young at the age of 21, and had seven children to feed and provide for. He was forced to emigrate, like most of his countrymen. He went to Northern Italy to sell chestnuts on the streets and later to London to work as a waiter, returning just 15 months later, sick and exhausted. Somewhere along the way, he met a sculptor, Dionigi Sorgesa, who in addition to teaching him the basics, gave him a camera. Making a living as a travelling photographer and seed salesman, Donneta eventually found his way back to Switzerland, settling in the Casserio of Corzoneso.
Between 1900 and 1930, he took more than 5.000 photographs, which were preserved merely by chance. These capture the archaic life of his compatriots in the Valle di Blenio, which at the time was totally isolated.
The Blenio Valley is a mountain valley, quite mild at the bottom and on the western slopes, but alpine and barren up on the heights. Just two entities still testify today to a more modern industrialised world: the hotel Terme di Acquarossa, a sophisticated place for urbanites on summer vacation in Donetta’s day; and the striking Cima Norma chocolate factory.
In 1903 Cima brothers established the chocolate factory “Cima” between Torre and Dangio villages. Torre village has been familiar with the production of chocolate since 19th century, when the population worked as chocolate manufacturers abroad. In 1913, Giuseppe Pagani became Cima’s owner, and in 1914 bought “Norma” chocolate factory in Zurich. Cima Norma factory constantly increased its growth until the 60s, when it produced 500 tons of chocolate and employed 340 people. But, in the following years, competition became stronger and finally the factory closed in 1968. Machinery and raw materials were sold, while the buildings became a military warehouse; they were later made available to organise arts and crafts workshops and to build lofts. Cima Norma deeply influenced the life of workers and citizens of Blenio Valley; for instance, it provided male workers with houses and female workers with a hostel, where nuns taught them housekeeping and manners. Donetta photographed both the Cima Norma factory and the hotel Terme di Acquarossa frequently as they were fixed points in social life in the valley.

“The details of the photographs are fascinating. The placement of the figures in Female Workers in Front of the Chocolate Factory Cima Norma for example, where the left two sitting figures have their legs crossed in the opposite direction while both rest their face in their hands, a central figure, and then two figures interlocked as in an infinity symbol looking at each other. The ‘line’ of the photograph changes from one height to another. We observe that Donetta stages his photographs with infinite care, even when there is a blank wall behind the sitter.” 
Dr Marcus Bunyan – Artblart

Roberto Donetta, Self-portrait –Bleniotal, © Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta

Roberto Donetta, Self-portrait –Bleniotal, © Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta

Donetta’s personality was full of contradictions. On the one hand, he expressed considerable interest in all the phenomena associated with the advent of modern achievements, such as photography. On the other hand, he was decidedly conservative when it came to the cohesion of the family or his close links with nature. The latter prevented him from leaving the valley to look for more secure work in town. He lamented the constant changes associated with road building and new railway lines, which he did not see as a blessing for the valley. In his capacity as a photographer he succumbed to the fascination of the modern, yet at the same time he expressed a deep respect for long-standing traditions and rituals. Festivals, weddings, funerals, processions, outdoor church services, these were inconceivable without “il fotografo”. Donetta made photography an important part of those rituals, and over the course of time the photographer was as much a part of the valley as the parson was of the church. This is surely the source of the quality of his photographs: the people did not dissimulate, indeed it’s almost as if they forgot that someone with a camera was watching, so self engrossed do they look, serious, at one with themselves.
Children have a special place in the work of Roberto Donetta – not only because he photographed them regularly and readily, but also because of the originality of the respective images. He took the young people seriously, and they in turn were his accomplices, becoming involved in his creative ideas. The presence of children in his work can also be explained from a socio-historical viewpoint: children played an important role in everyday life and contributed to their family’s economic survival. Sometimes even the worries of the older people are reflected on their little faces. The high infant mortality in the Blenio Valley at the beginning of the 20th century also left its mark. The repeated experience of losing a child increased the need for portraits. Roberto Donetta fulfilled the wish of many parents to try and hold on to their offspring, at least in an image. What is particularly moving is when they called on the photographer to immortalize a small child on his or her death bed.
In an era of great change, Donetta became a unique chronicler who at the same time saw himself as an artist who – self-taught – experimented freely and knew how to master his medium.
When he died, Donetta owed money to many of the town’s locals who had help support him throughout his economic hardships. His wife and family had abandoned him and moved to France years ago, but he was obviously well-liked within his community. When the Commune of Corzoneso held an auction of his belongings to retrieve some of the expenses that helped keep him afloat in his last years, his remarkable collection of photography was ironically the only thing they couldn’t sell for any value. By default, the Commune of Corzonesco became the owners of the Donetta archives, which were re-discovered in the mid-1980s by Mariarosa Bozzini. The Roberto Donetta Archives are housed in the Casa Comunale of Corzoneso, which is responsible for the supervision and conservation of his work.
Sources/More to Read:
Messy Nessy: Memories of a Lost Valley: 5,000 Photographs Discovered in an Attic
Wikipedia: Roberto Donetta (in German)
Fotostiftung Schweiz: Roberto Donetta – Photographer and Seed Salesman
Fondazione Archivio Fotografico Roberto Donetta (in Italian)
Artblart: Roberto Donetta at Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur, Zurich
La Fabbrica Del Cioccolato: Our Story
Ticino Top Ten:  Historic Trail Blenio Valley

 

Men in the Great Depression, 1937

Colorization By Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization & Restoration by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization By Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization By Manos Athanasiadis

A migrant packinghouse worker, Deerfield, Florida, 1937, (Arthur Rothstein / Library of Congress)

A migrant packinghouse worker, Deerfield, Florida, 1937, (Arthur Rothstein / Library of Congress)

A migrant worker from Oklahoma, Deerfield, Florida, 1937 (Arthur Rothstein / Library of Congress)

A migrant worker from Oklahoma, Deerfield, Florida, 1937 (Arthur Rothstein / Library of Congress)

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression which started in 1930 and lasted until the late 1930s.
Industries that suffered the most included construction, agriculture as dust-bowl conditions persisted in the agricultural heartland, shipping, mining, and logging as well as durable goods like automobiles and appliances that could be postponed. The Depression also resulted in the mass migration of people from badly hit areas in the Great Plains and the South to places such as California and the North, respectively.
The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dryland farming methods to prevent wind erosion caused the phenomenon. With insufficient understanding of the ecology of the Plains, farmers had conducted extensive deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains during the previous decade; this had displaced the native, deep-rooted grasses that normally trapped soil and moisture even during periods of drought and high winds. The rapid mechanization of farm equipment, especially small gasoline tractors, and widespread use of the combine harvester contributed to farmers’ decisions to convert arid grassland to cultivated cropland. During the drought of the 1930s, the unanchored soil turned to dust, which the prevailing winds blew away in huge clouds that sometimes blackened the sky. The Dust Bowl forced tens of thousands of families to abandon their farms. Many of these families, who were often known as “Okies” because so many of them came from Oklahoma, migrated to California and other states. The term came to be known in the 1930s as the standard term for those who had lost everything and were struggling the most during the Great Depression. The Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American history within a short period of time. Between 1930 and 1940, approximately 3.5 million people moved out of the Plains states.
The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was created in the Department of Agriculture in 1937. It was a New Deal program designed to assist poor farmers during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The photographs of the Farm Security Administration Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. This U.S. government photography project was headed by Roy E. Stryker. Roy Emerson Stryker (1893-1975) was an American economist, government official, and photographer. He employed such photographers as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn, Jack Delano, Marion Post Wolcott, Gordon Parks, John Vachon, and Carl Mydans. Those photographers wanted the government to move and give a hand to the people as they were completely neglected and overlooked and thus they decided to start taking photographs in a style that we today call “documentary photography.” Under Stryker, the FSA adopted a goal of “introducing America to Americans.” His agenda focused on his faith in social engineering, the poor conditions among tenant cotton farmers, and the very poor conditions among migrant farm workers; above all he was committed to social reform through New Deal intervention in people’s lives.
Arthur Rothstein (1915 – 1985) was an American photographer. He is recognized as one of America’s premier photojournalists. During a career that spanned five decades, he provoked, entertained and informed the American people. His photographs ranged from a hometown baseball game to the drama of war, from struggling rural farmers to US Presidents.
Following his graduation from Columbia in 1934, Rothstein was invited to Washington DC by Roy Stryker, one of his professors at Columbia, to set up the darkroom for Stryker’s Photo Unit of the Historical Section of the Resettlement Administration (RA), which became the Farm Security Administration (FSA) in 1937. During the next five years, Rothstein shot some of the most significant photographs ever taken of rural and small-town America. He and the other FSA photographers were employed to publicize the living conditions of the rural poor in the United States.
In 1940 Rothstein became a staff photographer for Look magazine but left shortly thereafter to join the US Army as a photographer in the Signal Corps. In 1947 he rejoined Look as Director of Photography. He remained at Look until 1971 when the magazine ceased publication. Rothstein joined Parade magazine in 1972 as Director of Photography and remained there until his death.
Sources / More to Read:
Wikipedia: Great Depression
Wikipedia: Dust Bowl
Wikipedia: Farm Security Administration
Wikipedia: Roy Stryker
Wikipedia: Arthur Rothstein
Library of Congress: Arthur Rothstein
Buy a Print:
Red Bubble 1
Red Bubble 2

SEE ALSO MY OTHER POST
WOMEN IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION

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Healing ceremony in the Pentecostal Church of God, 1946

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Healing "laying on of hands" ceremony in the Pentecostal Church of God. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky (Photo: Russell Lee / U.S. National Archives) 1946

Healing “laying on of hands” ceremony in the Pentecostal Church of God. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky (Photo: Russell Lee / U.S. National Archives) 1946

Faith healing refers to notably overt and ritualistic practices of communal prayer and gestures (such as laying on of hands) that are claimed to solicit divine intervention in initiating spiritual and literal healing. Believers assert that the healing of a person can be brought about by religious faith through prayer and/or rituals that, according to adherents, stimulate a divine presence and power toward healing disease and disability. Belief in divine intervention in illness or healing is related to religious belief. Faith healing is claimed healing through supernatural or spiritual means.
Christian laying on of hands is used in Christianity as both a symbolic and formal method of invoking the Holy Spirit primarily during baptisms and confirmations, healing services, blessings, and ordination of priests, ministers, elders, deacons, and other church officers, along with a variety of other church sacraments and holy ceremonies.

16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” – Mark 16:16-18

Pentecostalism/Charismatic movement. At the beginning of the 20th century, the new Pentecostal movement drew participants from the Holiness movement and other movements in America that already believed in divine healing. By the 1930s, several faith healers drew large crowds and established worldwide followings.
Pentecostal Christians believe that the laying on of hands can have curative properties, based on biblical precedent set by Jesus, who would walk for days, offering his healing power. Both Christian and non-Christian faith healers will lay hands on people when praying for healing, and often the name of Jesus is invoked as the spiritual agency through which the healing of physical ailments is believed to be obtained.
Sources:
Wikipedia: Faith healing
Wikipedia: Christian laying on of hands
Wikipedia: Laying on of hands

Hands of Healing

Hands of Healing

For more see my other post:
Handling serpents at the Pentecostal Church of God, 1946

 

Handling serpents at the Pentecostal Church of God, 1946

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Handling serpents at the Pentecostal Church of God. Most of the members are coal miners and their families. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky. (Photo: Russell Lee / U.S. National Archives) 1946

Handling serpents at the Pentecostal Church of God. Most of the members are coal miners and their families. Lejunior, Harlan County, Kentucky. (Photo: Russell Lee / U.S. National Archives) 1946

In 1946 the Department of Interior and the United Mine Workers agreed to a joint survey of medical, health and housing conditions in coal communities. Survey teams went into mining areas to collect data and photographs on the conditions of these regions, later compiled into a published report. The bulk of the photographs were taken by Russell W. Lee.
Russell Lee
(1903 – 1986) was an American photographer and photojournalist. By the fall of 1936 during the Great Depression, Lee was hired for the federally sponsored Farm Security Administration (FSA) photographic documentation project. He joined a team assembled under Roy Stryker, along with Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein and Walker Evans. In 1946 and 1947, he created over 4,000 photographs of miners and their working conditions in coal mines. In 1946, Lee completed a series of photos focused on a Pentecostal Church of God in a Kentucky coal camp.
The Pentecostal Church of God was formed in Chicago, Illinois in 1919. It believes the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the inspired word of God which is the only rule of Christian faith and practice.
Snake handling, also called serpent handling, is a religious ritual in a small number of Pentecostal churches in the U.S., usually characterized as rural and part of the Holiness movement.
The practice began in the early 20th century in Appalachia, and plays only a small part in the church service. Practitioners believe serpent handling dates to antiquity and quote the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke to support the practice:
16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:16-18)

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
(Luke 10:19)

George Went Hensley (1880–1955) introduced snake handling practices, founding the Dolly Pond Church of God in Birchwood, Tenn. in 1910. If believers truly had the Holy Spirit within them, Hensley argued, they should be able to handle rattlesnakes and any number of other venomous serpents.
Snake handlers do not worship snakes, instead using the snakes to show non-Christians that God protects them from harm. In church services, when they feel the anointing of the Holy Spirit come upon them, these Christians reach into boxes, pick up venomous snakes and hold them up as they pray, sing, and dance. They should also be able to drink poison and suffer no harm whatsoever.
Snake handling as a test or demonstration of faith became popular wherever Hensley traveled and preached in the small towns of Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas, Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana.
In 1955, Hensley died of a snakebite .
Most religious snake handlers are still found in the Appalachian Mountains and other parts of the southeastern United States. In 2001, about 40 small churches practiced snake handling, most of them considered to be holiness-Pentecostals or charismatics.
Although exact records are difficult to substantiate, at least 71 people have been killed by venomous snakebites during religious services in the United States.
All Appalachian states except West Virginia outlawed the snake-handling ritual when it first emerged. Most snake handling, therefore, takes place in the homes of worshipers, which circumvents the process of attempting to obtain a government permit for the practice. Law enforcement usually ignores it unless and until they are specifically called in, which does not usually happen unless a death has resulted.

Jamie Coots, who was featured in a National Geographic Channel program, “Snake Salvation“, was cited in 2013 for illegal possession and transportation of venomous snakes. Coots died from a snake bite on February 15, 2014, after refusing medical treatment.
Kristen Wiley, curator of the Kentucky Reptile Zoo said that the risk of fatal bites is significantly reduced by the familiarity of the snakes with humans, and by the poor health of snakes that are insufficiently fed and watered and kept in crowded areas. Deaths related to snake-handling are more likely to occur when someone is bitten while handling a newly captive snake, still in relatively good health, and then refuses medical treatment. Snakes living in the captivity of snake handlers live an average of 3 to 4 months, compared to a well-cared for snake in captivity which can live 10–20 years.

More to read:
1. Take Away the Serpents from Us: The Sign of Serpent Handling and the Development of Southern Pentecostalism
2. Snake Salvation: One Way to Pray in Appalachia

Ο Ράσσελ Λη (1903 – 1986) ήταν ένας Αμερικανός φωτογράφος και φωτορεπόρτερ. Το 1936, ήταν μέλος της ομάδας φωτογράφων της Διοίκησης Αγροτικής Ασφάλειας (Farm Security Administration) που τεκμηρίωσαν τις συνθήκες ζωής στις Νοτιοδυτικές Πολιτείες κατά τη διάρκεια της Μεγάλης Ύφεσης, μαζί με τη Δωροθέα Λάνγκε, τον Τζακ Ντελάνο κ.α.
Το 1946 και το 1947, τράβηξε πάνω από 4000 φωτογραφίες, στα πλαίσια ενός προγράμματος του Υπουργείου Εσωτερικών και της Ένωσης Ανθρακωρύχων σχετικά τις συνθήκες διαβίωσης των ανθρακωρύχων στα Απαλλάχια Όρη.
Μια σειρά φωτογραφιών του, αφορούσε αποκλειστικά τις θρησκευτικές συνήθειες των μελών – ανθρακωρύχων με τις οικογένειες τους – της “Πεντηκοστιανής Εκκλησίας του Θεού” στο Λετζουνιόρ, στην κομητεία Χάρλαν του Κεντάκυ.
Η Πεντηκοστιανή Εκκλησία του Θεού σχηματίστηκε στο Σικάγο του Ιλινόις το 1919. Πιστεύει ότι η Παλαιά και η Καινή Διαθήκη είναι ο εμπνευσμένος Λόγος του Θεού, και είναι ο μόνος κανόνας της χριστιανικής πίστης και πρακτικής. Μέρος του τελετουργικού της εμπνέεται από τα αποσπάσματα των Ευαγγελίων Μάρκου και Λουκά:

“Να και τα θαύματα που θα κάνουν όποιοι πιστέψουν: Με την επίκληση του ονόματός Μου θα διώχνουν δαιμόνια, θα μιλούν νέες γλώσσες, κι αν παίρνουν φίδια στα χέρια τους ή πίνουν κάτι δηλητηριώδες δε θα παθαίνουν τίποτε· θα βάζουν τα χέρια τους πάνω σε αρρώστους και θα τους θεραπεύουν.” (Κατά Μάρκο 16:17-18)

“Σας δίνω εξουσία να πατάτε πάνω σε φίδια και σκορπιούς, και να κυριαρχείτε πάνω σ’ όλη τη δύναμη του εχθρού· τίποτε δε θα σας βλάψει.” (Κατά Λουκά 10:19)

Σύμφωνα με τον εμπνευστή του τελετουργικού, Τζώρτζ Γουέντ Χένσλεϋ (1880–1955), αν οι πιστοί έχουν πραγματικά το Άγιο Πνεύμα μέσα τους, τότε θα μπορούν να κρατούν κροταλίες και δηλητηριώδη φίδια χωρίς αυτά να τους δαγκώνουν. Θα μπορούν ακόμα και να πιούν και στρυχνίνη χωρίς να πάθουν τίποτα. Ο Χένσλεϋ, κατάφερε με το κήρυγμα του να κάνει ιδιαίτερα δημοφιλή αυτή την πρακτική σε αρκετές περιοχές του Νοτιοανατολικών Πολιτειών της Αμερικής. Ωστόσο το 1955 τον δάγκωσε ένα φίδι στην εκκλησία και πέθανε.
Υπολογίζεται ότι πάνω από 71 άνθρωποι έχουν πεθάνει κατά τη διάρκεια του τελετουργικού με τα φίδια. Και ενώ έχει απαγορευτεί επίσημα σε όλες τις Πολιτείες στα Απαλλάχια Όρη, (εκτός από τη Δυτική Βιρτζίνια) υπάρχουν περίπου 40 μικρές εκκλησίες που συνεχίζεται ακόμα με την ανοχή της τοπικής αστυνομίας.
Οι κήρυκες ξεστομίζουν πύρινους λόγους ώσπου να τους κυριεύσει το Άγιο Πνεύμα, βγάζουν τα δηλητηριώδη φίδια από τα κουτιά τους, τα κρατάνε στα χέρια και προσεύχονται, τραγουδάνε και χορεύουν μαζί με το ποίμνιο τους σε θρησκευτική έκσταση, σε μια ομαδική επίδειξη πίστης.
Ωστόσο, σύμφωνα με την επιμελήτρια του Ζωολογικού Κήπου του Κεντάκυ, τα δηλητηριώδη φίδια δεν είναι τόσο επικίνδυνα όσο φαίνεται. Συνήθως είναι αφυδατωμένα, υποσιτισμένα και αρκετά εξοικειωμένα με την ανθρώπινη παρουσία. Επιβιώνουν μόνο μερικούς μήνες αντί για 10-20 χρόνια σε συνθήκες αιχμαλωσίας. Τα περιστατικά θανάτων από δάγκωμα, απλά προέρχονται από νεοφερμένα φίδια που δεν έχουν εξαντληθεί και όταν το θύμα αρνείται ιατρική περίθαλψη.

Three Hidden Women

Three Hidden Women

British 4X100 m freestyle swimming team, 1912

Colorization by Manos Athanasiadis

Color by Manos Athanasiadis

British 4X100 m freestyle team at the 1912 Olympics, with a chaperone in the middle. From left to right: Belle Moore, Jennie Fletcher, Annie Speirs, Irene Steer. (Photo by Bob Thomas)

British 4X100 m freestyle team at the 1912 Olympics, with a chaperone in the middle. From left to right: Belle Moore, Jennie Fletcher, Annie Speirs, Irene Steer. (Photo by Bob Thomas)

The 1912 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the V Olympiad, held in Stockholm, Sweden, between 5 May and 27 July 1912. Twenty-eight nations and 2,408 competitors, including 48 women, competed in 102 events in 14 sports. The Swedish hosts introduced the first Olympic use of automatic timing devices for the track events, the photo finish and a public address system. For the first time, competitors in the Games came from all five continents. It was also the first time Japan participated. The modern pentathlon, women’s swimming and women’s diving all made their Olympic debuts.
Olympic Games have been the most important international swimming competition. While men’s events were an integral part of all Olympics, women’s races were introduced only in 1912, and until 1924 were limited to the 100m freestyle and the 4x100m relay, because it was thought women were too weak to swim any distance longer than that.
Public nudity was a major concern in designing early swimwear. It was a major factor behind the non-participation of American women in the 1912 Olympics. At those Games British women wore full-body silk suits of such a volume that they could be passed through a wedding ring. The suits were complemented by bras and bikini-style briefs as they became transparent when wet. Women’s coaches were rare at early Olympics, and to further reduce the chances of harassment women were accompanied by chaperones.
Jennie Fletcher (1890 – 1968) was a British freestyle swimmer. At age 15, she set a world record in the 100 yd freestyle that stood for seven years and she was British champion from 1906 through 1912. During a three year period, she broke her own world record eleven times. She was selected for the 1908 Olympics, but the women’s swimming events were cancelled due to a shortage of participants. She did get to compete in the 1912 Games in Stockholm at the end of her career, where she won a gold medal in the 4×100 m relay and a bronze medal in the individual 100 m race.
One of 11 children in an underprivileged family, Jennie worked in a clothing factory for 12 hours six days a week and swam in what little spare time that remained. Despite their impoverished circumstances, her parents refused an offer for Jennie to tour as a professional with Annette Kellerman in 1907. While Annette was startling the public with her daring one-piece silk suit styled with long sleeves and legs, Jennie had been wearing a shorter sleeveless knee length version for years. “We were told bathing suits were shocking and indecent and even when entering competition, we were covered with a floor length cloak until we entered the water.”
In 1913 she began teaching swimming in Leicester, which ended her competitive career as she turned from an amateur into a professional. In 1917, she married and immigrated to Canada.
Isabella “Belle” Mary Moore (1894 – 1975) was a Scottish freestyle swimmer. She competed at the 1912 Summer Olympics and won a gold medal in the 4×100 m relay. At 17 years and 226 days old, she remains the youngest British woman to win an Olympic gold medal; she is also the only Scottish woman to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming.
Annie Coupe Speirs (1889 – 1926) was an English freestyle swimmer who won a gold medal in the 4×100 m relay at the 1912 Olympics. Individually she finished fifth in the 100 m event.
Irene Steer (1889 – 1977) was a Welsh freestyle swimmer. She was one of the three Welsh women who have won Olympic gold medals. In 1912, Steer won a gold medal in the 4×100 m relay and failed to reach the final of the individual 100 m race.
Library of Congress
De Montfort University, Leicester
Olympic Movement
BBC News

Οι 5οι σύγχρονοι Ολυμπιακοί αγώνες, που έγιναν στη Στοκχόλμη το 1912, ήταν πρωτοποριακοί από πολλές απόψεις. Για πρώτη φορά συμμετείχαν αθλητές από τις πέντε ηπείρους και εγκαινιάστηκαν νέα αθλήματα με τη συμμετοχή και γυναικών. Επίσης καθιερώθηκαν και κάποιες τεχνολογικές καινοτομίες όπως η αυτόματη χρονομέτρηση και το φώτο-φίνις.
Στην κολύμβηση, οι γυναίκες διαγωνίστηκαν μόνο στα 100 μέτρα ελεύθερο και στα 4χ100 μικτό στυλ, γιατί θεωρούσαν ότι δεν είχαν τη δυνατότητα για μεγαλύτερες αποστάσεις.
Τα μαγιώ που φορούσαν οι κολυμβήτριες, αν και ολόσωμα, ήταν αρκετά προκλητικά για την εποχή. Φτιαγμένα από λεπτό μετάξι (μπορούσαν να περάσουν μέσα από ένα δαχτυλίδι) γινόταν εξαιρετικά αποκαλυπτικά όταν βρέχονταν. Αυτός ήταν και ένας από τους λόγους που δεν πήραν μέρος οι Αμερικανίδες κολυμβήτριες. Οι Βρετανίδες που κέρδισαν στα 4Χ100 μικτό στυλ, απεικονίζονται σ’ αυτή τη φωτογραφία μαζί με τη συνοδό τους (τη σύζυγο του προπονητή), που ο κυρίως ρόλος της ήταν να τις προστατεύει από τυχόν παρενοχλήσεις.
Η Τζένυ Φλέτσερ (1890 – 1968) ήταν μια πραγματική ηρωίδα της εργατικής τάξης. Ένα από τα 11 παιδιά μιας φτωχής οικογένειας του Λέστερ, δούλευε σε εργοστάσιο 12 ώρες τη μέρα, 6 μέρες τη βδομάδα και κολυμπούσε στον ελάχιστο χρόνο που της έμενε.
Από τα 15 της είχε το παγκόσμιο ρεκόρ στις 100 γιάρδες που παρέμεινε ακαταρρίπτο για 7 χρόνια, και ήταν πρωταθλήτρια Βρετανίας από το 1906 ως το 1912. Δεν πήρε μέρος στους Ολυμπιακούς του Λονδίνου το 1908, καθώς οι αγώνες κολύμβησης ακυρώθηκαν λόγω έλλειψης συμμετοχών. Το 1912 όμως, παρόλο που ήταν στη δύση της καριέρας της, συμμετείχε στους Ολυμπιακούς της Στοκχόλμης και κατάφερε να πάρει το χρυσό στα 4Χ100 και το αργυρό στα 100 μέτρα ελεύθερο.
Το 1913, σταμάτησε τον πρωταθλητισμό γιατί έγινε επαγγελματίας και ξεκίνησε να διδάσκει κολύμβηση στο Λέστερ. Το 1917, παντρεύτηκε και μετανάστευσε στον Καναδά όπου έζησε τα υπόλοιπα χρόνια μέχρι το θάνατο της το 1968.
Στη φωτογραφία, τα κορίτσια που κατέκτησαν το χρυσό μετάλλιο στα 4Χ100, με την συνοδό τους στη μέση. Απο τα αριστερά προς τα δεξιά: η Ισαβέλλα Μουρ, η Τζένυ Φλέτσερ, η Άννυ Σπέιρς και η Ιρένε Στηρ.
Η Μουρ παραμένει η νεώτερη Βρετανίδα που έχει πάρει Ολυμπιακό χρυσό μετάλλιο και συγχρόνως η μόνη Σκωτσέζα που το κατάφερε στην κολύμβηση.
Η Στηρ είναι μία από τις τρεις μόνο γυναίκες από την Ουαλία, που έχουν κερδίσει Ολυμπιακό χρυσό μετάλλιο.

Women in the Great Depression, 1930’s

Colorization Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization Manos Athanasiadis

Colorization Manos Athanasiadis

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A mother in California who with her husband and her two children will be returned to Oklahoma by the Relief Administration. This family had lost a two-year-old baby during the winter as a result of exposure (Dorothea Lange, 1927 – Library of Congress)

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Migratory agricultural worker from Florida waiting to leave Belcross, North Carolina to another job at Onley, Virginia. It is Sunday and she is wearing her best clothes. (Jack Delano, 1940 – Library of Congress)

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression which started in 1930 and lasted until the late 1930s. Industries that suffered the most included construction, agriculture as dust-bowl conditions persisted in the agricultural heartland, shipping, mining, and logging as well as durable goods like automobiles and appliances that could be postponed. The Depression also resulted in the mass migration of people from badly hit areas in the Great Plains and the South to places such as California and the North, respectively.
The Dust Bowl, was a period of severe dust storms that greatly damaged the ecology and agriculture of the US and Canadian prairies during the 1930s; severe drought and a failure to apply dry-land farming methods to prevent wind erosion caused the phenomenon. With insufficient understanding of the ecology of the Plains, farmers had conducted extensive deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains during the previous decade; this had displaced the native, deep-rooted grasses that normally trapped soil and moisture even during periods of drought and high winds. The rapid mechanization of farm equipment, especially small gasoline tractors, and widespread use of the combine harvester contributed to farmers’ decisions to convert arid grassland to cultivated cropland.
During the drought of the 1930s, the unanchored soil turned to dust, which the prevailing winds blew away in huge clouds that sometimes blackened the sky.
The Dust Bowl forced tens of thousands of families to abandon their farms. Many of these families, who were often known as “Okies” because so many of them came from Oklahoma, migrated to California and other states. The term came to be known in the 1930s as the standard term for those who had lost everything and were struggling the most during the Great Depression.
The Dust Bowl exodus was the largest migration in American history within a short period of time. Between 1930 and 1940, approximately 3.5 million people moved out of the Plains states.
The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was created in the Department of Agriculture in 1937. It was a New Deal program designed to assist poor farmers during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.
The photographs of the Farm Security Administration Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. This U.S. government photography project was headed by Roy E. Stryker and employed such  photographers as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Arthur Rothstein, Ben Shahn, Jack Delano, Marion Post Wolcott, Gordon Parks, John Vachon, and Carl Mydans.
Those photographers wanted the government to move and give a hand to the people as they were completely neglected and overlooked and thus they decided to start taking photographs in a style that we today call “documentary photography.”
Under Roy Stryker, the FSA adopted a goal of “introducing America to Americans.” Stryker’s agenda focused on his faith in social engineering, the poor conditions among tenant cotton farmers, and the very poor conditions among migrant farm workers; above all he was committed to social reform through New Deal intervention in people’s lives.
Dorothea Lange (1895 – 1965) was an American photographer, best known for her Depression-era work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA). Lange’s photographs humanized the consequences of the Great Depression and influenced the development of documentary photography.
In December 1935, she married economist Paul Schuster Taylor, Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Taylor educated Lange in social and political matters, and together they documented rural poverty and the exploitation of sharecroppers and migrant laborers for the next five years – Taylor interviewing and gathering economic data, Lange taking photos. In 1935 they produced five reports on the conditions of migrant agricultural workers, and Taylor used their data to get state and federal relief funding for housing for farmworkers.
Jack Delano (1914 – 1997) was born as Jacob Ovcharov in Russian Empire and moved, with his parents and younger brother, to the United States in 1923. He was a photographer for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and a composer noted for his use of Puerto Rican folk material.
In 1941 he traveled to Puerto Rico as a part of the FSA project. This trip had such a profound influence on him that he settled there permanently in 1946.

Η “Μεγάλη Ύφεση” ήταν η μεγαλύτερη οικονομική ύφεση που ξέσπασε στις ΗΠΑ το 1929 και επηρέασε τις οικονομίες όλων των χωρών του κόσμου τουλάχιστον για μια δεκαετία. Δημιούργησε ένα τεράστιο αριθμό ανέργων και προκάλεσε τρομακτική ανθρωπιστική κρίση.
Την ίδια εποχή, στα απέραντα λιβάδια των μεσοδυτικών Πολιτειών (Plain States) της Αμερικής εμφανίστηκε και το φαινόμενο του Dust Bowl, μια από τις μεγαλύτερες οικολογικές καταστροφές που συνέβησαν στη χώρα. Την προηγούμενη δεκαετία, οι αγρότες θέλοντας να καλλιεργήσουν μεγαλύτερες εκτάσεις, ξεχέρσωσαν το έδαφος από τη ντόπια βλάστηση που με τις βαθιές του ρίζες συγκρατούσε το χώμα και την υγρασία στις περιόδους ξηρασίας και έντονων ανέμων. Ταυτόχρονα, η έντονη καλλιέργεια της γης που άρχισε με τα νέα μηχανήματα επιδείνωσε την κατάσταση. Στις ξηρασίες του ’30, αφού δεν υπήρχε βλάστηση να το συγκρατήσει, το χώμα έγινε σκόνη και ο αέρας τη σκόρπισε παντού. Τεράστιες αμμοθύελλες σκέπασαν τον ουρανό και κάλυψαν ολόκληρες πόλεις. Πολλοί πέθαναν από σκόνη στους πνεύμονες ή ασιτία. Έτσι, μη έχοντας έδαφος να καλλιεργήσουν και χρεωμένοι σε τράπεζες για τα νέα μηχανήματα, οι κάτοικοι αυτών των περιοχών αναγκάστηκαν να μετακινηθούν στις βόρειες πολιτείες και δυτικά προς στην Καλιφόρνια. Καθώς οι περισσότεροι ήταν από την πολιτεία της Οκλαχόμα, δημιουργήθηκε ο όρος “Okie“, που σήμαινε αυτόν που είχε χάσει τα πάντα και ήταν το μεγαλύτερο θύμα της Ύφεσης. Μέσα σε μια δεκαετία 3,5 εκατομμύρια άνθρωποι έφυγαν από τις πολιτείες των μεγάλων πεδιάδων. Αποτελεί τη μεγαλύτερη μετακίνηση πληθυσμού σε τόσο μικρό διάστημα, στη ιστορία της Αμερικής.

Η Διοίκηση Αγροτικής Ασφάλειας (Farm Security Administration) δημιουργήθηκε, το 1937 ως πρόγραμμα του New Deal, με σκοπό την ανακούφιση των φτωχών αγροτών στη διάρκεια της Μεγάλης Ύφεσης. Ο επικεφαλής του προγράμματος, Ρόϋ Στράϊκερ, προσέλαβε έντεκα φωτογράφους για να αποτυπώσουν την κατάσταση στις Μεσοδυτικές Πολιτείες. Σκοπός του ήταν όχι μόνο η ενημέρωση αλλά και η αφύπνιση των Αμερικάνων.
Ανάμεσα στους φωτογράφους ήταν η Δωροθέα Λάνγκε και ο Τζάκ Ντελάνο. Η δουλειά της πρώτης θεωρείται από τις πιο επιδραστικές στο χώρο της φωτογραφίας-ντοκουμέντου. Από το 1935 ως το 1940, μαζί με το σύντροφο της οικονομολόγο Πώλ Σούστερ Τέϋλορ, γύρισαν την Αμερική αποτυπώνοντας τη φτώχεια και την εκμετάλλευση των αγροτών και εργατών της χώρας με σκοπό να τους εξασφαλίσουν κρατική βοήθεια.
Ο Τζάκ Ντελάνο, το 1941 πήγε στο Πουέρτο Ρίκο να φωτογραφήσει για την FSA και το 1946 εγκαταστάθηκε μόνιμα εκεί. Aν και είναι ίσως ο λιγότερο γνωστός από τους φωτογράφους του προγράμματος, υπήρξε ένας πολύπλευρος καλλιτέχνης: φωτογράφος, εικονογράφος, σκηνοθέτης και συνθέτης μουσικής.

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