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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Justice and the poor

Generally I don't like to photography mendicants. Actually I am not good at photographing peopleat all but when it is about begging it comes to me  as if it could be some aesthetics to poverty. But photography is not only that it is also about communication. I live in a country considered as poor with regard to western standards, so here are 4 squares took from our western standards. The first is from my home town, Lausanne, followed by Dusseldorf and 2 shots from Paris.


The woman knees on a cushion, showing she will be here for hours. Her arm directed as people crossing at safety range, 3 to 5 meters. The plastic glass remains empty and just while she noticed me the statue of justice with her closed eyes seems to ignore the truth of life in one of the richest cities

The next square is from Düsseldorf, no-one noticed me this time but the position was precarious so the limited ability to compose. The man down there, just like the woman in Lausanne, extend his arm as far as he can but for the 10 minutes I observed the scene he didn’t get any money and the only attention he deserved were people trying to avoid him walking and biking as fast as they can, just like if poverty were contagious and running fast would save you from social bankruptcy.

The famous metro is a place of choice to beg for some coins, thousands of busy people, all with more or less some rounds in their pockets. The difference is they do not extend their arm. Sitting passively, waiting a coin to be dropped, the man is just in between two main doors avoiding sitting in the hurrying people flow. The woman seems praying in a corner downstairs, forcing people to pass behind or in front of her, but no way forcing them to help.

It is true that in Paris all your coins goes to "tube musicians" playing accordion whom after having you forced to listen to some piece of music you didn’t like come and shake a hat or plastic container some centimetres away your nose. Too bad for those waiting and praying quietly and patiently between to trains.

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