Saturday, May 31, 2008

Brother, Can You Spare A Photo?

An admirable endeavor, in a life already overflowing with admirable endeavors, by Barry Crimmins is getting off to a slow start.

Crimmins photo project: Picture this

It's time for the digital revolution to live up to its name. If you have a digital camera (or a traditional camera and the means to convert your photos into digital files) please get out and start snapping shots of the America we rarely see depicted elsewhere. The closed factories, the abandoned business districts, the substandard housing and environmentally insulted land, air and water. How about some pix of abandoned malls. Perhaps you have some old photos that could show before and after in your town. Maybe you could take pictures of an empty Main Street and then contrast them with the new superstore conveniently located where the city limits meet the edge of oblivion. How about pictures of the growing lines at soup kitchens, food banks, homeless shelters and health clinics? Well you get the idea. And there's nothing new about it. Some of the most amazing pictures I've ever seen, documented the Depression and were done via WPA/Art grants and government agencies such as the Farm Services Administration

It's a timely calling, to document just what condition America is in, as we rocket down the pathway to a new day (hopefully), with the Presidential elections coming this fall.

Barry has been posting, for months, photos of deteriorating homes and empty, desolate Main Street USA's in his area of Upstate New York and Pennsylvania.

For a second, a split-second, you may believe you are looking at 1930's, Depression-era photos.

But, alas, they are current ... Now ... Today in America!

And Barry would like to do something about it.
I want to steal the WPA/Art idea except it can't be stolen because it was a gift. A gift of the acknowledgment of the humanity of impoverished people. A gift not for the poor but from the poor for all of us. A gift that gave us a chance to see what we ourselves were made of. We are again at a point when we need to see just how bad we've allowed things to become. We are at a point when the tangible damage of misguided priorities is everywhere, if only we would open our eyes and see it. We need to see all that's been lost because we haven't watching out for one another. We need only look at Depression era photos to see how much worse things can get if we continue to wear blinders.
Look around, whether you live in the big city, or a small, nowheresville berg, and snap a few shots ...

Whether you have a cellphone camera, digital camera, or an old, classic Brownie, take a moment in your travels, on the way to work (if you have a job), while your out shopping, jogging, taking an evening stroll, and snap a few shots and send them to Barry.

Barry will be humbly grateful.

Visit, and send your photos to, Barry Crimmins here.

Bonus Links

Barry Crimmins on The Garlic

Barry Crimmins Is Giving Away The Store!

Barry Crimmins: Of Exits and Eulipions

No comments: