The DOCUMERICA Project was a photography project that spanned most of the 70s. From it a wealth of important photo documents were achieved that show environmental problems across America. The portion of the series we’re presenting today features the New York’s subway and the visible urban decay.
These photos are gory and are meant to be as the photographers who snapped up these shots of the urban environment were hired by the Environmental Protection Agency to capture scenes that showed environmental problems such as noise pollution and decay in the form of graffiti and disrepair of subway facets and structures.
Social scientist George L. Kelling worked for the New York City Transit Authority in the 80s to see what effects graffiti and decay had in society. Findings culminated in the criminological theory the broken windows theory which states letting urban environments go to pot vandals and crime would be encouraged. Owing to this the city targeted graffiti on subways and intensive cleaning took place between 1984 and 1990.
Many, including Lost At E Minor think the above shots show an edgy New York that we love imagining being a part of, like in a Broadway musical.
So, how do you see it? To-may-toes or To-mah-toes, or do they have to be seen together to be meaningful in both directions?
While this is New York City in the 1970s…we also have a great collection of 1980s photos showcasing the urbanness of the city which you can check out here.
Also, check out one of my favorite documentaries “Dark Days” in which a group of people are followed going about their daily lives living in an abandoned section of NYC’s subway.