The Faces of Homelessness, Beyond Stereotypes

by | POSTED: Jun 27, 2013

From the website – slate.com:

“Dutch photographer  Jan Banning’s  interest in social and political subjects and his skill as a portrait photographer seemed the perfect fit for a story on the American South’s homeless population.

faces of homelessIn 2010, Banning was invited to be an artist-in-residence at the  701 Center for Contemporary Art  in Columbia, S.C., where they suggested he focus on homelessness for a photography series.

Banning was initially hesitant to take on the project because he felt the often-ignored population was paradoxically ubiquitous in the world of documentary photography. The images seen were typically shot in the same manner: black-and-white, on-location, and, typically, with a sense of despair.

Banning has a history of documenting the forgotten pockets of society from the impoverished in  Malawi  to women forced into a life of  prostitution in Asia  and decided that photographing the homeless community in color and in a studio environment would be the best approach to the series.

Banning wrote on his website. “In essence, I want to show who they are rather than what they are labeled.”

‘I’m satisfied with it,’ Banning said about his photographic choices. ‘This is not a popular subject; it’s an extremely unpopular subject.'”

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