Home for the Homeless
This series is an ongoing exploration of the people of Slab City, an off the grid squatters encampment in the Sonoran Desert of California. A community of the lost and those seeking to become lost, the homeless and outcast, the victims and fugitives, the disillusioned, the idealist and soul seeker converged on an abandoned military base covered in decades of accumulated garbage and metal scraps. Slabbers appeal to tourists like a carnival attraction to bemuse and to be feared. But if we can look past comparing what is commonly viewed as societal norms, materialism and a structured society this potentially prophetic micro-community has found recycling, repurposing, renewable energy, bartering, cooperation and acceptance as their path to sustainability.
Minding your own business is an unspoken tenet here, where unwanted meddling, including photographing the wrong person can have dire consequences. In my multiple visits much of my time is spent in quiet observation and conversation, my camera in hand. I hope to find empathetic images exemplifying the resilience of human beings; to not just survive harsh life circumstances but thrive through indeterminate grit and a return to more genuine human behaviors.