Marion Post Wolcott
[Photographer, b. 1910, Bloomfield, New Jersey, d. 1990, Santa Barbara, California.]

 We were all inspired and revved up by the whole New Deal idea, and of changing things and trying to get people to understand what was going on, and what the condition of the country was. We were trying to show this graphically, because people will look at photographs when they won’t read things. We hoped that this would make an impact and change people’s ideas and their opinions. 

John Heartfield (Helmut Franz Joseph Herzfeld)
[Artist, b. 1891, Munich, Germany, d. 1968, Berlin.]

 Use Photography as a Weapon! (Sign over the entrance to the John Heartfield room at the 1929 “Film und Foto” exhibition in Stuttgart.) 

Willi Muenzenberg
[Photographer, politician, and propagandist, b. 1889, Erfurt, Germany, d. 1940, Paris.]

 Photography has become an outstanding and indispensable means of propaganda in the revolutionary struggle. 

Martha Rosler
[Artist, b. 1943, Brooklyn, New York, lives in New York.]

 Just going out on a foray to assemble a collection of street trophies about this or that running social sore can’t be effective—and never was. 

W. Eugene Smith
[Photographer, b. 1918, Wichita, Kansas, d. 1978, Tucson, Arizona.]

 In printing the photographs of the white-gowned Klan members I ran into considerable difficulty. There were several with uncovered faces and these faces were vividly dark in comparison to the white-white of the gowns that it was almost impossible to keep them from appearing black. I am terribly sorry. (Apology to his editor about images from his 1951 photo essay on the Ku Klux Klan in North Carolina.)  

Susie Linfield
[Writer and critic, New York, lives in New York.]

 Without a political context, it is impossible to understand a photograph. This is true even—or especially—of political photographs themselves. 

Abigail Solomon-Godeau
[Writer and theorist, b. 1947, New York, lives in Santa Barbara, California.]

 In the final analysis, photography... is ever a hireling, ever the hired gun. 

Joseph Goebbels
[Nazi Minister of Propaganda, b. 1897, Rheydt, Germany, d. 1945, Berlin.]

 Photography today is accomplishing a lofty mission in which every German should collaborate by buying a camera. The German people is ahead of every other in the technical domain and, thanks to its exceptional qualities, the small camera has conquered the whole world... Much is at stake here from the point of view of popular consumer goods and, furthermore, photography has a particularly important political role to play. (Addressing the Berlin Photography Fair, 1933) 
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