As the documentary photographers are caturing different decades and centuries, they capture the social state of the places and people they photograph.
August Sander, was a german photographer, that wanted to show the people of his time in his home country. In 1910 he started an ambitious program to photograph representative people of Germany from all classes and occupations. The project was called 'Man in the Twentieth Century'.
Sander produced a collective portrait consisting of 40 000 negatives showing the personalities of his subjects without being artificial in a direct, straightforward manner (Rothstein -Doc.Photo).
Some might call Sander a collector of people like an endomologist collects butterflies to watch. Still i think he wanted to show the true Germany, and the chaotic conditions of Germany in the 1920's with hyperinflation, mass unemployment and political violence. All these people had to live through that time, and he wanted to show how that was like.
Pictures taken from the collection of Sanders pictures on artphotogallery.org
'He shows you so much about how these people want to be seen, and at the same time so little about what actually is going on inside their minds, and yet it is full of implications, it is full of hints - of things that cannot be spoken of.'
Leo Rubinfien ,photographer (BBC Genius of Photography)
The portraits of people tell the stories of the time, and are important to document our history.
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