From 1958 to 1962, Lange’s husband and collaborator, UC Berkeley sociologist Paul Taylor, embarked on a series of overseas assignments for U.S. government agencies and the United Nations. Despite increasingly poor health, Lange decided to accompany him. The couple travelled to communities in Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa, visiting 12 countries in one eight-month period. While Taylor conducted research and advised developing countries on agrarian reform, Lange focused her camera on the people and lifeways of unfamiliar cultures. Despite her own chronic pain, she made photographs that emphasized the universality of the human experience.
I am confronted with doubts as to what I can grasp and record on this journey. The pageant is vast, and I clutch at tiny details, inadequate.