Just as I was getting swept up in nostalgia for India, Fans in a Flashbulb reminded me about Dario Mitidieri’s 1992 portfolio on street children in Bombay. (Don’t call it that anymore! It’s Mumbai now and the residents will cut you if you say otherwise.)
There’s a lot to say about Mitidieri’s Children of Bombay — there are some pics when I think he’s having too much fun with the squalor — but when it’s good, it’s great.*
*This pic was also on the cover of Rohinton Mistry’s tour de force novel, A Fine Balance. When you read it, make sure that someone you love is close by. You’ll need a hug afterwards.
(thanks to / via: caille)
October 1, 1890: Yosemite Established as National Park
On this day in 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed a bill into law creating Yosemite National Park. This law decreed that about 1,500 square miles of public land in the California Sierra Nevada would be preserved for the public trust.
To learn more about all of America’s national parks, explore Ken Burns’s The National Parks: America’s Best Idea collections.
Photo: Library of Congress
The federal government’s system of “preservation” meant claiming lands and outlawing, by means of the US cavalry’s force, hunting and gathering within those lands. This specifically targeted the Yosemite Indians, a conglomerate of tribes who used the land for sustenance and settlement. America’s views of the west’s wilderness as “pristine” and “untouched by man” was contradicted in light of native settlements and their relationship with land. American’s obsession with and interpretation of wilderness and preservation was ultimately used to dislocate and vilify American Indians’ way of life.
Images such as this one were essentially propaganda at the time, promoting a false reality of a pristine, uninhabited landscape, void of human settlement and exploitation—except for the occasional white visitor, there to embrace a “true” wilderness of his own.