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Forgotten Florida: Photos from the Farm Security Administration & the Forgotten Florida Teen Photo Contest

Longing - Kathryn Barry.JPG
Kathryn Barry
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“Rainbow Window Stare” by Kathryn Barry, 10th grader at Marco Island Academy. Artist Statement: During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have opted to stay inside for their own safety. Yet, many of them long to travel and return to normal life. When I saw my classmate looking out the window wanting to go outside, I was inspired to take this picture.

There’s an exhibit called “Forgotten Florida: Photos from the Farm Security Administration” up now at the Immokalee Pioneer Museum at Roberts Ranch in Collier County. It features photos taken by FSA photographers in Florida during the great depression, showcasing the disparity between tourists visiting the state and the rural poor who barely survived. It’s a travelling exhibit from the Museum of Florida History and remains on display at the museum until April 19th.

In conjunction with that exhibit the museum conducted a “Forgotten Florida Teen Photo Contest” for students in Collier County to express their lives during the global pandemic. We’re joined by the winner of that exhibit, Marco Island Academy sophomore Kathryn Barry; and the Immokalee Pioneer Museum’s manager, Brent Trout.

We discuss what inspired the winning photograph, how photography fit into the Farm Security Administration’s mission, and what goes on at the Immokalee Pioneer Museum.