Hidden in Plain Sight:
Portraits of Hunger in NYC
The Brooklyn Historical Society
Through November, 2016
It’s not easy to stand in a food line; it’s a very public display of personal challenges, but it keeps families nourished, and together. The growing food lines in every borough of our city are something we cannot deny - millions of New Yorkers are falling down in this uneven economy.
I wasn’t aware that there were food lines around the city, and assumed they were a thing of the past until I started this project three years ago. I see the lines now, and the people who stand in them; they are fellow citizens with fully realized lives. They stand in line because things haven’t turned out as they planned, and a bag of food from a pantry is a soft spot in a hard time.
The pictures in this exhibit were made to foster connections between the people standing in the lines and the people who walk by them, unaware. The details of family life that were shared with me by generous pantry users are an invitation to consider what we have in common, and what we should be invested in preserving as a society.
As you look at the pictures, please consider: What would you do if you couldn’t feed your family?
Food Bank for New York City feeds all of the people represented in this exhibit, and does much more to address the challenges that keep people in poverty. In my experience, Food Bank and their partners operate with high standards and with no judgement of individuals in need. I’m so fortunate that they allowed me to collaborate with them and to tell the stories of the people they work so hard to nourish. I’m proud to support this remarkable organization and invite you to volunteer, donate, advocate with us. And don’t forget to vote!
It’s a privilege to exhibit this work at the Brooklyn Historical Society. It’s institutional commitment to creative expression of social justice issues and it’s unique ability to present them in context is extraordinary. This is the perfect venue to consider and discuss what it means to be hungry in New York City, and how we might imagine a better future for those in need.