1. bbylois

    presented great ; impressive , shocking , reality . The graffiti made it special for me in addition the overhanging ‘bed’ on the floor

      • Sean J.

        Once I made an interview with a homeless woman called L.. After it was published many people phoned me. One woman said they’d have a spare room, and her little daughter had already painted a picture for her new nanny. An overwhelming feeling. Excited with joy I went to find L. When I had found and told her the good news all what she said was: “I would never use the bath tub of any people I don’t know.” – I remember that for minutes I stood there, stunned, tears running down my cheeks.
        This just to give a glimpse of that this matter is more complex than most of us think.

        • Syncopated Eyeball

          Your story doesn’t surprise me Sean.
          Many long term homeless people have mental health issues.
          Some homeless folk prefer to live outside for one reason or another, mental health issues or not, and some are desperate to find somewhere safe to live.
          As you say, it is a complex issue.
          I’ve known a number of homeless people and their stories are all different.
          Some have had their lives de-railed through sheer bad luck. Some are homeless for just a short while. Affordable housing is hard to find in Sydney and public housing is in short supply, even ‘priority housing’ for those most in need.
          I still say it is shameful that so many people have no choice but to live this way.
          I know of one person who died on the pavement in the rain

    • Syncopated Eyeball

      Thank you, Katrien. I was pleased to be able to make a statement about homelessness without including a homeless person in the image: if I ever see a photo on a blog where an obviously homeless person is identifiable I never go back. It’s cruel to invade what little privacy they have and disrespectful.

      • Sean J.

        Good on you, Ashley!
        On the other hand: Is it generally disrespectful to take a photo of civilists bemoaning their children who have been killed by a ‘western hero’ 5.000 miles away who pressed a button to send a murderous drone, or by any other ruthless compatriot? Is it generally disrespectful to take a photo of a man stabbing another man in his head who already has a burning tyre on his shoulders?
        Just asking. Asking what I’ve been asking myself hundreds of times.

        Anyway, before I forget: For me your photo is a ‘photo of the year’.
        Category: The story behind.

        • Syncopated Eyeball

          I’ve thought about this a lot, too.
          Where to begin?
          Generally I think it’s cruel and callous to take photographs of people in their misery.
          In cases of war, pestilence, famine and other disasters – well, I just don’t think I can generalise. Clearly we need to know about such things if help is to be found/given. Personally, I don’t think I’ve the stomach to take such pictures but I do recognise that a visual telling can be much more powerful, more shocking than a written one and hence, one would hope, more likely to prompt compassion and generosity in people who are fortunate enough to be able to help.
          I would hope that if I ever found myself face to face with these kinds of extreme suffering that I would reach out to help rather than for a camera. Fortunately for me, I’ve never found myself in any such situation, so I realise that I have no real understanding of same.

          As for taking photos of people in the street: sometimes I do this but I have some boundaries that I try not to cross.
          Please excuse me if I don’t explain those boundaries now – thus is giving me brainache. It’s about 6 am and I haven’t been to sleep yet. Suffice to say I try to be respectful.

  2. elmediat

    “Ptochos (poor) is from a verb meaning β€œto shrink, cower, or cringe,” as beggars often did in that day. Classical Greek used the word to refer to a person reduced to total destitution, who crouched in a corner begging.” We have come so far since the times of the Classical Greek age, haven’t we ?

    very effective composition.

    • Syncopated Eyeball

      Thank you, Joseph, that’s very interesting and apt.
      Even considering that some homeless people want to live that way, there are plenty that don’t want to.
      It’s disgraceful the way we treat our less fortunate folk.

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