Monday, February 21, 2011

Photo Essay: Homelessness

Day after day we pass places seen and unseen, never knowing just what is happening on the inside unless we stop to take a look. Often times we are to consumed in our own ways to bother stopping and making the attempt to look. On a very bitter day last week I took my intern to a location that I have visited a few times of the past few years. I have photographed it for the aesthetics of abandonment and for the historic preservation of how it stands today. Over the more recent months the change in seasons brought about a change to the interior of this space. There now exists a new inhabitant; the photographs below are portraits, devoid of a physical appearance of the occupant, but their belongings are what puts them in this space. We found the structure, the consciously built home, with a mattress and blankets placed in the right position so the occupant could place a candle for heat, light, and possible a source of energy to warm a meal. On a daily basis we pass through doors to our homes, doors with locks, barriers that keep the elements out and our homes warm. We do not stop to think twice about the door we walk through, the privilege we have to have a door that locks. Most of us will never know what its like to walk through an entrance of wood, exposed beams charred with scars of flames and heat, passing through debris carelessly tossed aside from a night of partying, or car parts dumped illegally in an attempt to make a haste escape from the scene. Most of us will never know what it is like to fall asleep in a building that stands only as a living testament to the horrific past of a city once steepled in riches now stigmatized with, a history of loss, sadness, and tragedy.

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