On Sunday, a friend introduced me to the work of the photographer Jacob Riis, who put together a collection of photos in the early 1900s entitled “How the Other Half Lives”.
From the web link:
“This pioneering work of photojournalism by Jacob Riis focused on the plight of the poor in the Lower East Side, and greatly influenced future ‘muckraking’ journalism. Riis mostly attributed the plight of the poor to environmental conditions, but he also divided the poor into two categories: deserving of assistance (mostly women and children) and undeserving (mostly the unemployed and intractably criminal). He wrote with prejudice about Jews, Italians, and Irish, and he stopped short of calling for government intervention. Still, the catalyst of his work was a genuine sympathy for his subjects, and his work shocked many New Yorkers.”
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and Riis proved that to be very true.
A project of a similar, albeit more upbeat nature, is underway in Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne 1x1 Project is “systematically documenting the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana by creating and revealing a diverse portrait of our city: its people, architecture, history, charm, neighborhoods, industry, parks and waterways, its heart and even its minutiae…one square at a time.”
Submissions are guided by the following:
1) You were asked to participate in 1x1.
2) You do not submit more than 15 images.
3) Your images are way cool.
Some of the photos are now on exhibit at Wunderkammer Company, located in the former Casa D’Angelos building on south Fairfield between Creighton and Rudisell. These aren’t your typical “line ‘em up and shoot ‘em” kinds of shots. Photos of buildings are taken from unusual angles. A man sitting on his front porch may be the subject of a photo. Or an unusual mailbox. Even the ceiling of an abandoned building.
|What was once the dining area at Casa's is now part of the exhibition space at Wunderkammer.|
The purpose is to give all of us a perspective on the city we live in that we don’t always see…or worse…simply fail to notice…as we go about our daily routines. The project will go on for a year and eventually all of the photos will be gathered together and donated to the History Center.
We’re posting some photos we took of the gallery exhibition to encourage you to check them out as well as this new gallery space. Or you can go to the website and see some of the photos also:
|Coney Island by Theresa Thompson|
|Welcome to Downtown by Palermo Galindo|
|Zesto by Ken Rieves|
|Courthouse by Teresa Stephens|
|Hyde Brothers by Jeffrey Crane|
|Downtown after a storm by Keven Oswalt|
|Sign on a former Scott's by Theresa Thompson|
|Post card advertising the project--photo by Theresa Thompson|