Guinness feat. Jacob Riis

Here’s an American advert for Guinness Blonde American Lager (?!?!) in which some early 20th century social photography is used in the construction of a rather Orientalist view of Irish-American history. The first image in the advert is one of Jacob Riis’, there’s later another that recalls some of Lewis Hine’s photos of high-rise construction as well as quite a few others of the genre.

It seems the marketing strategy is to relate the construction of modern America by ‘a hardy, optimistic lot’ and their emergence from depravity into respectable society to their fondness of stout. That the drunkenness of the Irish was exactly one of the representations that maintained their subordinate position within society remains cleverly omitted. Anyway, here’s the link:


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