October 15, 2015 "Facing Change: Documenting America" Reveals the Nation in the 21st Century

New Book Includes More Than 200 Images by Photojournalists

Contact: Audrey Fischer, Library of Congress (202) 707-0022 | Ann Wu, Prestel (212) 995-2720

The Library of Congress, in association with the nonprofit photography group Facing Change: Documenting America (FCDA), has produced a new national portrait of America. Published by Prestel, “Facing Change: Documenting America” by Leah Bendavid-Val features the work of 10 of the country’s most celebrated photojournalists.

The collaborative project was inspired by work done in the 1930s and 1940s by photographers employed by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) to document the experiences of Americans at all economic levels during the Great Depression and World War II. Some of those period photographs by such icons as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Gordon Parks are included in the new book, along with contemporary images by FCDA photographers David Burnett, Alan China, Donna Ferrato, Danny Wilcox Frazier, Stanley Greene, Andrew Lichtenstein, Carol Javier Ortiz, Darcy Padilla, Lucian Perkins and Maggie Steber.

“The magnificent photographs in the Farm Security Administration Collection at the Library of Congress have inspired several generations of photojournalists,” said Acting Librarian of Congress David Mao. “The Library was pleased to collaborate with Facing Change and Prestel in creating this new book, which confirms the importance of preserving visual resources and reveals valuable connections between historical and contemporary photography.”

Like their FSA counterparts, FCDA photographers have chronicled the challenges of Americans at a particular time in history. Their work tells compelling stories of people around the country who are coping with issues and events such as immigration, the war in Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, the great recession and profound economic disparity.

“The vast variety of the American public’s concerns on health care, education, criminal justice, the future of our post-industrial cities, race, the environment or the economy, coupled with limits placed on in-depth reporting, have compelled FCDA photographers to join together to collectively document today’s America,” said Nina Alvarez, FCDA board member.

The 252-page hardcover book contains more than 200 images as well as interviews with Library of Congress photography experts, which together illustrate photojournalism’s role in engendering change in America. The FCDA photographers are introduced in essays that describe their history, work, and aspirations for the project. The book is available for $60 in the Library of Congress Shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., 20540-4985. Credit-card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or loc.gov/shop/.

Leah Bendavid-Val is the author of “Siberia: In the Eyes of Russian Photographers” (Prestel, 2013). She is co-author and editor of The New York Times bestselling “National Geographic Image Collection” and is the former director of photography publishing for National Geographic books.

The Library’s Prints and Photographs Division holds more than 15 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day. More than 1 million of those images, including the Farm Security Administration photographs, are available online loc.gov/pictures/.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to advance the knowledge and creativity of the American people through its collections, programs, publications and services. Many of the Library’s resources can be accessed through its website at loc.gov.

FCDA is a nonprofit organization of dedicated photojournalists who explore America and the critical issues it faces. Its goal is to create a visual resource that raises social awareness and expands public debate and leaves a historic record in collaboration with the Library of Congress. For more information, visit facingchangeusa.org External.


PR 15-180
ISSN 0731-3527