America in the 1970s: The Southwest

Welcome to Day 2 of Documerica Week on In Focus -- a new photo essay each day, featuring regions of the U.S. covered by the photographers of the Documerica Project in the early 1970s. Today's subject is the American Southwest, including Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, and California. The photos depict some of the challenges facing residents at the time: scarce resources, mining operations, growing cities and towns, as well as glimpses of people at work and play in the deserts, mountains and ocean shores. The Documerica Project was put together by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1971, with a primary goal of documenting adverse effects of modern life on the environment, but photographers were also encouraged to record the daily life of ordinary people, capturing a broad snapshot of America. Be sure to see the whole series: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

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