In the fall of 2009 I came upon the streets of an area of northeast Philadelphia known as "Beirut." It was inconceivable that the streets I was walking and witnessing could exisit in the year 2009 in America. The dire straights, the broken buildings, broken lives, a landscape of decay populated by the "have-nots" in our societ y. Through the lens of my camera I set about capturing images of places where residents carry out their lives amidst and against the greatest of odds: abject poverty, addiction, lack of opportunity, lack of tangible resources. The project expanded beyond streets of "Beirut" to include Kensington (also in NE Philadelpha), Camden, east and west Baltimore and Newark, NJ.
Some people might say people don't want change. If they wanted change they would do something about it. But then one would have to ask has society made an investment in its marginalized, or have they been left to be forgotten? Has real economic development reached the Beiruts and Camdens or has it not stayed in the more highly visible, more prosperous places? Are there sufficient resources for downtrodden communities to rise?
On any given day the hope for change has to be there and the opportunities to realize change.
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