We Live

Days of Sand is a Depression-era tale based on work of photographer John Clark

United States, 1937. In the middle of the Great Depression, 22-year-old photographer John Clark is brought in by the Farm Security Administration to document the calamitous conditions of the Dust Bowl in the central and southern states, in order to bring the farmers’ plight to the public eye.

When he starts working through his shooting script, however, he  finds his subjects to be unreceptive. What good are a couple of photos against relentless and deadly dust storms? The more he shoots, the more John discovers the awful extent of their struggles, coming to question his own role and responsibilities in this tragedy sweeping through the center of the country.

A moving and unforgettable tale, inspired by real-life stories of courage and perseverance against all odds.

Days of Sand, by Aimée de Jongh, is based on true events. In 1937, the federal FSA agency hired photographers to document the lives of farmers across the United States. The Dust Bowl was an oval-shaped region in the Mid-South, that was struck by severe droughts and heavily blowing dust storms. These storms carried so much sand and dust, that they could block all sunlight, turning days into nights. A total of 2.5 million inhabitants decided to leave the area, mostly toward California, in search of a better life. They became climate refugees – 90 years ago.

To research the story of Days of Sand, Aimée made a study trip to Oklahoma and California. She received a travel fund from the Dutch Foundation for Literature to make this trip possible. In 10 days, she drove from Oklahoma, through the old Dust Bowl area, to California. On the way, she stopped at museums and archives, to interview experts of the Dust Bowl and FSA history. A detailed travelogue of this trip is available in English on her blog.

Days of Sand