There are so many photography projects about homeless people out there and I understand the problem of the documentary photographer that walks around to portray pain, poorness, or more anything which is not familiar with himself. This project is not so different, but I put it here because I learned a lot during this process. Why should a photographer create a proj- ect? Who are they helping with it? Is it changing anything? All these questions and more I had to answer in long discussions with my teachers which were fundamental to understand the importance of thinking and questioning our own moral attitude.
I started and changed the project while being in this learning process which made it evolve into a more inclusive storyline.
I resisted the urge to see my motifs as “storytelling-faces”, but as fellow in- habitants of the city, I’m living in. I wanted to understand what happened to them and how they think about their own portrayal. Over the course of two weeks, I walked around Rotterdam and talked to several homeless people. While approaching them I wanted them to feel included in the story. I asked them if they would like to share their story or anything they want with me.
I didn’t judge or put any opinion in these talks with them. I tried to stay as objective as possible.
We met while waiting in front of a coffee shop. Mehrdad told me about how he came
to the Netherlands as an immigrant and how hard life and all its facets can be. Although having to live a hard life he was thankful for it. He also thanked me for doing this project and told me that he and other people living on the street need any voice they can get.