The Photography of Margaret Bourke-White
I recently stumbled upon this Life photo. It depicts a post-WWII Japanese farmer returning home after a day’s work in the fields. For a man who lost part of his land and quite possibly several friends and family members as a result of the war, he seems to be in good spirits.
The photo led me to discover some horrifying photos in the Life magazine archive, but it also led me to discover the Japanese Bicycle History Research Club website when I attempted to learn more about the farmer’s bike. It also led me to read about one of America’s most celebrated documentary photographers, Margaret Bourke-White.
Known to coworkers as “‘Maggie the Indestructible,” she documented WWII from the front lines, escaping bombings in Russia, witnessing the brutality of concentration camps in Germany and surviving the fighting in northern Africa. During her career she documented the Great Depression, the rise of Nazism and the partition of India. She also interviewed and photographed Gandhi just hours before his assassination.