Our society faces a crisis of interpersonal relations. Social media was supposed to bring us together, but it is driving us apart. It was billed as creating connections, but often fosters isolation. As bots increasingly manipulate us through simulacra of human interaction, rebuilding real human bonds becomes a priority.
Photography can make a contribution to this urgent task by helping us rediscover the humanity of others. In candid street photography this requires finding alternatives to the motif of the guarded or indrawn individual in the urban crowd that has become a cliché in the aftermath of important work such as Walker Evans' subways photos and Philip-Lorca diCorcia's "Heads." If we look beyond the claustrophobic spaces in the subway and under the scaffolding and observe people in the open air and sunlight, glimpses of a different, less alienating urban reality can be seen.
This series offers an alternative face book in which the subjects' comportments are as diverse as their origins. To be sure, some of these ordinary people from the Flushing neighborhood of New York City are wary, but they invariably invite our engagement. These photos encourage us to reconsider how we relate to strangers in the flesh and blood. The experience of urban life need not be one of isolation. Real human solidarity begins with a look and a conversation in the street. These photos invite us to look. May the conversation follow.