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#swisshistorypics Annemarie Schwarzenbach: America's Great Depression

Between 1936 and 1938, Swiss photographer Annemarie Schwarzenbach travelled several times to the United States. swissinfo.ch looks at a selection of her work that documents the Great Depression.

In the 1930s, Annemarie Schwarzenbach crossed America to get closer to the people and their stories. What emerged was a body of socially critical writings and images.

In 1936, she followed the re-election of Franklin Roosevelt in New York, and the following year she traveled with American journalist and photographer Barbara Hamilton-Wright to the southern states. They used Rolleiflex cameras to capture prisons, cotton plantations, factories and the working population. "The vision of a better life, the long-held American dream, has a shadow cast over it as the roads lead south,” wrote Schwarzenbach in her report "On the dark side of Knoxville".

To mark the 75th anniversary of Schwarzenbach's death on November 15, 2017, the Swiss Literary Archives has made more than 3,000 digital photographs from her estate availableexternal link. They can be viewed on an inventory created by the estate as well as on Wikimedia Commonsexternal link. Her reportage voyages can be followed on this mapexternal link, along with her journey to eastern Asia.

In our series #swisshistorypics we travel back in time in black and white with Annemarie Schwarzenbach to visit the four corners of the world.