mrdhgarciaAmidst a cold winter night in Quito, I met with a friend a couple of nights ago at local coffee shop, and while we were enjoying our drinks and eating sandwiches, she asked “So, what did you do on Christmas?” “If I wasn’t here in Ecuador, I probably would have spent Christmas Day with the homeless in the United States.” Needless to say, she was perplexed. So I began to tell her the story of how I became a social documentary photographer.
Since 1997, on every 25th of December, while everyone was at home, waking up to see presents under the Christmas tree and getting together with family and friends, I found myself walking the streets of downtown with my camera looking for people who were alone – who had no one to share Christmas Day with.
And I began to listen. I listened to their thoughts. I listened to their ideas. I listened to their emotions. And I began to document their stories. Often, I would take food with me – sandwiches and juices – or sometimes cigarettes. Whatever it was, I always wanted to have something to give them on Christmas. It’s amazing how something so simple as ‘listening’ and ‘sharing’ with someone, without judging them, can make them feel so good.
And then, it wasn’t just on Christmas Day. It was on my lunch break. It was on weekends, when I was by myself. I felt a huge connection with all sorts of people that many would regard as drug addicts, or alcoholics, or mentally disabled.
Since then my social documentary project, “Disenfranchised” has steadily grown and so has my perception of homelessness. Unraveling the myths of homelessness and how we need to listen to people who have no home instead of treating them as third-class citizens.
- giovanni_ruedaMe tocó este retrato!!!
- norlink1Very inspiring project!!! Hope this leads to something great for you.
- dallenp51I hope that in some small way, that your project and heart will provide some positive change in your life, and those of whom you touch with your kindness.
- michalfantaWhat a photo❗️ The face expression is amazing👏🏻👏🏻
- t.i.t.iiii_wWow 😁👍 🍁
- wonbibianaThanks for sharing of experience! That's what l hope to gain through IG interaction. Learning through visual exercises on people's work, embracing new ideas and methods while be inspired by the story behind the lens. Thanks for finding me! 🙇🙇
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