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Fiercely free and independent, the American Jane Evelyn Atwood, a Parisian by adoption, has been radically clear for more than thirty years about the reasons that led her to become a photographer. The photographic act, fully intertwined with the reality it documents, is, it seems, for her, a moral act: it combines a taking of responsibility and a taking of a picture. Commitment to each new job is initially experienced in terms of necessity and empathy. Jane Evelyn Atwood, the first recipient of the prestigious W. Eugene Smith Foundation Award in 1980, revealed herself in the early 1970s and imposed the sharpness of her vision and the specificity of her modus operandi through her research and reports on legionnaires, "the elderly", blind youth and the disabled from anti-personnel mines. She is one of the first to opt for what is known as long-term work, only penetrating the universes that require her after having documented herself at length on them, like a filmmaker who would multiply the number of spottings. Like a W. Eugene Smith or a Lewis Hine, Jane Evelyn Atwood's work is one of the highlights of the history of social photography.