Travel and Hope

Travel and Hope

The Steerage by Alfred Stieglitz

Not all people travel around the world for glory or fame, not all of them explorers who search for the last frontier. Most of them are ordinary people, who embark on a voyage launched by hope. To search for something better, for a promise, for a new life. And to leave behind a heartbreak, an unbearable situation, to forget, to never look back.

The Steerage by Alfred Stieglitz has become the symbol of such travels. The picture shows passengers from the third class on board of a ship. It has become an icon for the 20th century human movements. Movements that shaped our globalized multicultural world we live in today.


2 thoughts on “Travel and Hope

  1. Stieglitz’s THE STEERAGE (1907) is indeed an iconic photo but not for the reason most think, and this article seems to imply. It is a marvel of early Cubist form in photography–a play on shapes and angles. As far as a document of immigrants seeking a new life, it is very well recorded, in quotes by Stieglitz himself, that this photo was taken while steaming back towards Europe. These steerage passengers were going home.

    • Hi, yes you are right. Thank you for the information. It was a photograph of passengers boarding on a ship from New York to Bremen, Germany, instead of the other way around…:). I guess that particular information was not supplied even when the photograph was becoming increasingly popular. But that’s exactly what pictures do, don’t you think? A picture is often a snapshot of a single moment in history, and what makes it intriguing for the viewers are our chance to supply our own interpretation to complete the whole story. And they say that a picture speaks a thousand words…so maybe that’s why it is sometimes left to speak for itself, rather than supply it with more complete information, just like what happened to this picture, even when the information itself is rather important to to give the ‘right’ context to the story being captured. Thank you for stopping by and make time to comment. Really appreciated…:)

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