Siegfried Kracauer
[Media critic and sociologist, b. 1889, Frankfurt, Germany, d. 1966, New York.]

 The flood of photos sweeps away the dams of memory. Never before has a period known so little about itself. In the hands of the ruling society, the invention of illustrated magazines is one of the most powerful means of organizing a strike against understanding… The ‘image-idea’ drives away the idea. 

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. 

Elliott Erwitt
[Photographer, b. 1928, Paris, France, lives in New York.]

 I don’t believe that photography can change the world, but it can show the world changing. 

Gordon Parks
[Photographer and filmmaker, b. 1912, Fort Scott, Kansas, d. 2006, New York.]

 You have a 45mm automatic pistol on your lap, and I have a 35mm camera on my lap, and my weapon is just as powerful as yours. (To Black Panther militant Eldridge Cleaver) 

Tim Page
[Photographer, b. 1944, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, lives in Brisbane, Australia.]

 Every good war picture becomes an anti-war picture. 

Susan Sontag
[Writer, theorist, and critic, b. 1933, New York, d. 2004, New York.]

 A photograph can’t coerce. It won’t do the moral work for us. But it can start us on the way. 

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

 …images have become more extreme as political clarity has dissipated; this is, I think, no coincidence…. What happens to documentary photography—to the photography of witness—when it no longer has a politics it can support? 

Craig Owens
[Writer and critic, b. 1950, d. 1990.]

 Representation, then, is not—nor can it be—neutral; it is an act—indeed the founding act—of power in our culture. 
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