The Voice played an important role in promoting and publishing social documentary photography. We interviewed editors and photographers on its role.
Just as the photographs of Lewis Hine and Jacob Riis communicated the horrors of child labor and tenement overcrowding in the early 20th century, Voice photojournalists such as Donna Binder, Ricky Flores, Lisa Kahane, T.L. Litt, Thomas McGovern, Brian Palmer, Joseph Rodriguez, and Linda Rosier conveyed the fears, rage and struggles of the city’s marginalized communities.
For Ricky Flores, one of the photographers in a group exhibition at the Bronx Documentary Center, chronicling his South Bronx neighborhood transformed him from a hobbyist into an obsessive.
When Ricky Flores started taking pictures as a high school senior in 1980, he did what a lot of young photographers did: he photographed his friends, family and neighbors. He captured giddy, even goofy moments, of dancers in the park, teenagers on stoops and costumed children on Halloween.
In the South Bronx.
Eight photographers captured what it meant to live in New York and call oneself Puerto Rican.
“Dia” embraces the period from the 1960s to the 1980s — when Puerto Rican New York was very much on the rise — with the work of eight photographers: Máximo Colón, Joe Conzo, Perla de León, Pablo Delano, Frank Espada, Ricky Flores, David Gonzalez (a Times colleague and frequent contributor to Lens) and Francisco Reyes II.