Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Vancouver Downtown Eastside #2

This is part of a larger series of portraits of the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, Canada’s poorest neighbourhood. They were taken mainly in the fall of 2006 and are intended to be a portrait of the community itself. Throughout the years, this neighbourhood has suffered from many challenges which include, but are not limited to, drug addiction, poverty, diseases such as HIV and hepatitis, prostitution, governmental and societal indifference, and a terrifyingly prolific serial killer.




7 comments:

Mr. Shawn said...

The situation for them must be so sad... why does a society like Canada still have such problems?

Anonymous said...

I have to just point out that they are not their problems, they are people just like you and me. And a society like Canada still has such problems because it continues to dehumanize marginalized people, instead of giving them a voice.
These photographs help give them some of their voice back, I think, by saying--look, here I am. Look at me. SEE me.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that it does give them a voice. When a marginalized group of people finally become able to represent themselves as only they would, then that marginalization is has been subverted. But when a person who is not of that context says to themselves, "i'm going to capture the spirit of the DTES in this series", then those people are simplified, they are trapped in whatever shade the guy behind the lens decides works best. Look at how long its taken for FN authors to establish a presence for themselves in English literature; or Blacks in America's written culture. The main reason its taken so long is that goofball anthropologists, whose thought processes probably weren't much different than this photographers', were writing about these groups and dressed it up as "giving them a voice". My question is: whose voice is it that is being given "back"?

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with the Canadian society, all cities have homeless people and poverty. Ever been to Detroit?

The Tough Guy said...

The Society like Canada or any other Capitalist society actually is the cause of Downtown East-side. The Society does not think of poor and addicted and homeless. The society thinks of Toilet Mexico inclusive package vacation, America Got Talent, iPod and Blackberry and shit like that. It will be going to be worse. Wait and watch.

Anonymous said...

Your photos are nothing special

TJ said...

I disagree - I think your photos are very special. They offer a dignified view of a sad reality of daily life for people whose humanity shines through these images, despite the destitution around them. Thanks.