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strangers {not so much}

this is a different kind of post…
one that i hope will strike some strong emotion and perhaps action on anyone’s behalf.
this is not meant to sensationalize or elicit the standard pity, but instead, stir a knowing deep inside
that we are all one and are here to help each other in any, i mean any, big or small way possible.
i started this blog with a few self imposed projects. 52 strangers was one. the key being ‘strangers’ but
before photographing them, some kind of connection had to be made. sounds easy enough, right?
the truth is it’s been most difficult. not so much when you’re at a party, or the market, or the school line.
but what about people that are not in your comfort zone. people who we don’t really give a second look?
try it sometime. what would you say? would you really want to hear what they have to say?
steve, a friend of mine with an enduring social conscience and uber good soul is working on a project of sorts about
‘his’ strangers. his street people in his city.
he shared his images and story a week or so ago on facebook. there’s no way anyone could look at those images
or in the eyes of those people and not be touched in some way. strong and striking images.
no, this is not new. yes, we have seen them. yes, we know it shouldn’t be. maybe we think it’s their fault too.
maybe we think they should be trying harder, doing more than they are. for surely if they were, they wouldn’t
be in that situation. or…better yet, it’s completely their fault because of drugs, alcohol, whatever.
are they less of a human being because they’ve not been given the same opportunities as others?
or, by not being born into a loving and capable family?
or being stepped on every step of the way?
ever have a bad day? how did you feel? imagine every day of your life being a bad day and having no one
to hold you or console you and take care of you. how do you think you’d feel after a week, a month, a year?

steve invited me to go with him this week to meet and photograph some of the people he has recently met
and photographed. not all were homeless, but all live on the street full or part time.
i have to admit, these places are not places i would ever go alone and even with steve, i was a little nervous.
but i gained so much by standing inside a very different kind of home than my own.
my heart is a little softer and my eyes are a little wider and i met some very interesting people
and one very deeply hurt person.
steve’s hope, and now mine, is to raise awareness and in turn hope and help for the people
we share our city with.

strangers, but not so much after you have met them.
please meet tonka.

tonka’s front door.

front row seating of the river’s view.

please meet sgt.

sgt lost his 5 children and wife in a car accident while in iraq.
after 3 tours and that, he wasn’t considered sane enough to remain in service.
he came home to nothing. he’s 27.

please meet phil.
he’s waiting for a possible construction job and wants his family to know he’s ok.

and just trying to keep warm in the meantime.

thank you for stopping for a moment to read and look and hopefully think.
thank you steve for sharing with me.
more to follow for sure.

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January 27, 2010 - 7:45 am

ilene - Wow.

January 27, 2010 - 8:20 am

Rachael - These are amazing photos.

January 27, 2010 - 8:37 am

tina - double wow!

January 27, 2010 - 8:43 am

Nat - I have goosebumps! Beautiful pictures, beautiful souls…

January 28, 2010 - 2:48 pm

Jen - Gina your photos communicate such depth – thank you for sharing these!

January 29, 2010 - 3:14 pm

Ms P - These are incredibly powerful and profound images G. Wow. Sensitive and imaginative. An insightful and visual short story.
Stunningly beautiful.

January 30, 2010 - 9:51 pm

Deborah Carr - Wow. You’ve captured your subjects with such eloquence. I keep going back and looking again. Very powerful. This is a beautiful project you are doing. There are hidden stories all around us, aren’t there – and people who just want to be seen, recognized, acknowledged.

I’m adding a link to my blog so I can visit again and see who else you find in your travels.

(a fellow unraveller)

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