Szlezák, Klara Stephanie (2009):
"The Ellis Island Experience: Through the Eyes of Lewis Hine." Eds. Aho, Tanja N.; Betz, Ingrid; Böhme, Franziska; Büttner, Susan; Herrmann, Sebastian M.; Schäfer, Benedikt; Simão, Isabel M. J.. aspeers 2: 71-89.
Journal Article

In a historical approach, this article examines the way immigration was captured by means of a medium that was just as new and astonishing as the social upheavals brought about by modernity of which immigration itself was a key factor: photography. To this purpose, photographs taken on Ellis Island by Lewis W. Hine, one of the major photographers of his time, are described, analyzed, and interpreted. After a short introduction to the photographer’s method and approach to the subject, an in-depth analysis of four examples from his Ellis Island series shall help to elucidate in how far his visualizations of the migration process convey a remarkably wide array of factual and emotional aspects linked to this chapter of US history. Not only do the photographs give a vivid impression of the daily proceedings immigrants and officials were involved in, they also shed light on the immigrants as not merely masses of foreigners but as human beings. It is Hine’s aim of countering prevalently negative opinions and images as well as the focus on the individual immigrant experience that makes his work social photography and thus situates his photographs on the threshold between social documentation and art.