Blowin’ down this road: note per una cartografia (anche audiovisiva) dell’America nella Grande Depressione

Michele Fadda


During the Great Depression a fascination with mapping the American territory through visual and audio-visual media emerged. The extensive photographic project of the Farm Security Administration was an emblematic example of the “documentary expression” that is usually considered typical of the 1930s. On the other hand, this documentary gaze participated in a broader imaginary construction of the nation, which was not simply based on a naive conception of realism nor just founded on the primacy of the visual reproduction of reality. Indeed, the “true” face of America was revealed thanks to continuous and reciprocal interaction between voice, sound, music, and image, both in cinema and other media. By taking a historical and cultural approach, this essay aims to analyse the interplay between photo-cinematic realism and the birth of a different soundscape at the dawn of a broad media revolution, and the way in which it contributed to a new (and necessary) apprehension of space, or to a new geography of America.


geography; Great Depression; America

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2280-9481/6819


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