The FSA photographers covered a wide range of subjects in their work, venturing way beyond the institutional need for photographs demonstrating the indignity of migrant living conditions and the effectiveness of FSA programs. Historians of the FSA differ radically in the extent to which they see the body of FSA work as a creative chaos, a democratic melange of mininarratives and portraits, or instead trace the development of a coherent metanarrative or an overarching ideological agenda. At the core of divergent interpretations is the question of whether the FSA agenda had emerged, either intentionally or unconsciously, from the functioning of the project; that is, to what extent had the narrative structure of the project been predetermined.




Juliet Gorman, May 2001