Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
June 11, 2016

Today’s Political Equivalent of the Depression Barrel

A person at a voting booth in Ojai, California casting a ballot in the 2016 presidential primary.

It’s quite a portrait of this backlash election, the futility over our compromised and fractured political system coming full circle. Yes, people continue to exercise their right to participate in the process. At the same time, given how broke things are, the idea of citizens stripped almost clean by the system or having nothing to bring to the exercise is telling. Swapping economic destitution for the political kind, the photo reminds me of depression-era images. Those of people wearing nothing but a barrel.

(photo: Hilary Swift/Instagram. Shot for the New York Times. caption: June 8, 2015. Voting yesterday in Ojai, California.)

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