Poverty is the result of a social imbalance, and is characterized by having a large percentage of the population forced to a miserable and subhuman situation in terms of health, education, nutrition, housing and emotional development. Its origins can be traced to the production and power relationships in different stages of history. The image of poverty created and seen in visual arts, photography and cinema through the centuries constitutes an ideological intervention, at the service of certain social classes and groups. The dialectic confrontation taking place between such groups can also be seen in the depiction of poverty, ranging from idealization, concealment and distortion to a critical and politically engaged point of view which tries to bring that reality to light. An analysis of poverty through the use of its constructed image throughout time –from the industrial revolution up to this day as it is done in this article– establishes a very interesting crossroad for sociology, anthropology, history and theory of the image.
Disease, poverty, social imbalance, image and representation, cinema, photography.