Jacob Riis has been rediscovered

May 26th, 2008 - 8:29 pm ICT by David M N James  

Jacob RiisJacob Riis photography and works have hit the media and are becoming popular in both the academia and mainstream media circles. Writers and academicians are featuring the works of Riis in their academic journals and views in an international context. Recent use of his photos and usurpations about the slum society have been highlighted in the major academic journals and even New York Times as a way to rediscover his noble purge to an equitable society. Maybe, his works on poverty have brought light to the war against poverty in an international context.

Riis has predominantly featured in Holland’s popular website el Rincon del vago. His work and photography exposing various aspects of poverty have made news in the site interesting many visitors. Jacob Riis photography has featured in a May issue in which his portrayal of Italians immigrants crowded in a New York illegal boarding house in 1889 is a sign of Riis rejuvenation of the almost forgotten eloquent and ambitious photographer. His works have an intrinsic quality and a much more diverse meaning to social equity and the profoundness of poverty in the slums. Riis work is reputed as exemplary journalism and photography hence gains immense acclaim.

Jacob Riis went to New York and lived in slums which he later based his book on. His work has earned acclaim from Louis Hamilton since they expose the despondent life in the slums and draw a clear picture of poverty and its immense capabilities to de-fragment social equity and socio-economic progress of any nation. Riis perceptions on poverty and religion have been arguably most controversial and interesting. From a philosophic approach, the media has contextualized his belief in Christianity as having been selective. He was confused by various New York Clergymen about the concepts of Christianity.

Jacob authored very educative and profound exposes on poverty. He wrote the book ‘How the Other Half Lives’. This book is like a tour of the slum life and everyone will feel what the poor in these ghettos are feeling today. Riis’ died in 1914 though his book continued to make bestseller sales. Jacob’s work has helped scholars write comprehensively about poverty and slum life with emphasis on problems faced and posed by children, paupers, drunks and an assortment of other urban types facing abject poverty. Riis has rejuvenated and has been rediscovered.

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