Joseph Szabo: The Teacher Who Photographed The 1970s Rebel Youth

In 1972, Joseph Szabo, a 28-year-old art and photography teacher at Malverne High School, Long Island, was struggling to connect with his pupils. So he started taking pictures of them. ‘I tried to photograph everybody’, he says, speaking on the phone from Long Island, where he still lives. ‘I wanted to include every kind of student, whether they were a stereotype or not in terms of what a teenager should be, and I think the kids saw that. They respected that, and I think they liked that’.
Soon Szabo was photographing his students not just during class, but also after school at local hang-outs, on the beach and even in their homes. As he writes in the foreword to his seminal 1978 book Almost Grown: ‘Theirs is a world rarely witnessed by parents. Here is what kids do together, at the beach or the drive-in, during and after school, what they themselves describe as -doing nothing- because it is neither work nor play’.

Joseph Szabo: the teacher who photographed the 1970s rebel youth

Joseph Szabo: the teacher who photographed the 1970s rebel youth

Joseph Szabo: the teacher who photographed the 1970s rebel youth

Joseph Szabo: the teacher who photographed the 1970s rebel youth

Joseph Szabo: the teacher who photographed the 1970s rebel youth

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