How Little We Know of Our Neighbors | Chicago Reader

How Little We Know of Our Neighbors

Founded in pre-World War II Britain, Mass-Observation was a social-research project that encouraged people to create an “anthropology of ourselves” by taking street photographs and recording the habits of pub goers; by 1948 it had been reborn as a market-research firm. This 2005 video by Rebecca Baron connects Mass-Observation to other aggressive uses of photography, such as today's surveillance cameras and a photographer at the turn of the 20th century who displayed his candid shots of schoolgirls alongside pictures of zoo animals. The idea of photography as voyeurism is only superficially explored, and the present-day footage (one subject drops his pants) adds nothing. 50 min.


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