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Best known as the decade of disco and bell-bottoms, the 1970s also saw the birth of the modern environmental movement. A new exhibit at the National Archives explores Documerica, a photography project launched in the early '70s by the newly-created Environmental Protection Agency. Modeled on the famous Depression-era photography of the Farm Security Administration, the EPA hired photographers to capture images of environmental pollution, but also the trends and cultural shifts of that decade.
From 1971 to 1977, the Environmental Protection Agency hired freelance photographers to capture images relating to environmental problems, EPA activities and everyday life. The National Archives unveiled the collection this spring. The exhibit, “Searching for the Seventies: The Documerica Photography Project," depicts the horrors of waste and pollution, as well as the trends and faces of the times. The exhibit is free to the public and runs through Sept. 8, 2013.
The photographer and director of the Documerica exhibit reflect on the images and what they portray.