Photo Essay: A Thanksgiving Celebration of Homeless People
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Few words can express the misery of homelessness, and the despair of homeless people. Only images can provide a glimpse of this abject life. In all societies homeless people are invisible to most. This is precisely the reason which motivated me to take photographs of homeless people for more than three decades. The life of homeless people is more than harsh and precarious, it is almost unbearable. Homeless people have to shuffle like shadows in dark alleys, and dig through trash foraging for food to make it through another hellish night. In the urban street jungles, homeless must survive adverse weather, and fend off predators of all kinds including the police.
The photographs below are not pleasant, and they are not meant to be. All of us, anywhere in the world, should keep in mind that the fate of homeless people could become our own at any given time. We are all, to some extent, the accomplices of this silent crime of neglect. Imagine for a moment a life without a roof over your head, a life without any proper food or basic security, a life of hell on earth. In the criminal Orwellian construct of global disaster capitalism homelessness is spreading worldwide though wars. Once climate change’s impacts will reach a critical mass, nobody will be immune from it, not even the super-rich global elite. What have we done to ourselves, to the very essence of our humanity?
Editor’s Notes: All photographs by Gilbert Mercier.
It could be easy to assume that those living on the streets of New York City don’t own any gadgets, but that’s not always the case.
Over the course of two weeks last year, we interviewed dozens of homeless people to find out what kind of consumer electronics they own — and more importantly, what they use them for.
From laptops and iPhones, to government-provided phones, it quickly became clear that many homeless people use gadgets to stay connected, search for jobs, and pursue their own creative interests.
Note: All people shown have given their permission for us to take their picture, though some requested we not show their faces.
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