The National Archives keeps looking for ways to work with other agencies to spark citizen engagement with our records. Our most recent project is the Document Your Environment contest for students, which we co-sponsored with the Environmental Protection Agency. We invited students aged 13 and older to explore some of the nearly 16,000 photos in the Documerica collection and create their own graphic art, poem, or multimedia video in response. I was delighted to see the entries we received from students around the globe. The selection process was difficult because many of the entries were so creative.
I am pleased to announce the grand prize winner of the Document Your Environment student contest: iRevolution by 24-year-old Anna Lee of San Francisco, CA. Her work stood out because it got the message across graphically and did it in a crisp manner that I found visually appealing.
Original Documerica photographer Michael Philip Manheim judged the graphic arts category and selected Anna’s work as a finalist. He wrote, “There is a message that is telegraphed in this art, so it achieves the goal of dramatically bringing an environmental problem into the viewer’s consciousness.” Anna was inspired by the 1972 photo titled “Children in Fort Worth Are Learning that Protecting the Environment Will Take More Than Awareness” by Documerica photographer Jim Olive, and she wrote in her submission, “We live in a world where people really do speak their minds and we are shown that we, the people, can make a difference.”
We posted all of the finalists on our contest website on Challenge.gov and on Flickr, and will soon post on the NARAtions blog. Thank you to the contest participants and to our judges, Michael Philip Manheim, Cokie Roberts, and Sandra Alcosser.
Are you feeling inspired? Join the public crowdsourcing effort to create a Documerica 2.0 hosted by the EPA and the Archives at State of the Environment photo project on Flickr.