Guttered

DAY 158-9__29 bw webDay 159 (June 8, 2014) Brooklyn, NY

I came across this image during my morning bike ride in BK. A woman, slumped over literally in the gutter.  She looked tired and defeated. A cigarette dangled in the worn fingers of her right hand. I couldn’t tell if it was lit. I couldn’t tell if she even had the strengthen to lift it to her mouth for a pull. It’s about 10:30 AM on Myrtle Ave in Clinton Hill and the neighborhood is starting to wake up.  People walk pass without even noticing the person in the gutter. I don’t know if this is some type of metaphor for something or a commentary on society and how we treat or see others….but this site meant something to me. It immediately brought me back to my time in India. I walked the streets of Delhi aimlessly looking for images and taking in life on the streets of India. Eventually I found my images and I also experienced a sense of heart break and frustration that I had never experienced before. A young woman, probably in her twenties was lying in the gutter motionless except for the fresh tears that streamed down her face. People walked over her as if she was not there. I didn’t see any sense of compassion at all. It was as if she wasn’t even there. I sat frozen. I wanted to take the photo but my hands were shaking. It was that moment as a photojournalist when you question the value of the image vs real action. I didn’t know what I could do for this woman. I fully understood the cast system she was born into and I understand what being born into poverty means for most people. I took an uncertain photo back then more afraid of my inability to make a difference.  Today, I’m still frustrated by what I see around me.  I’m doing my part and still questioning if it’s enough. And I still want to know this woman’s story.

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