“New York is an ugly city, a dirty city. Its climate is a scandal, its politics are used to frighten children, its traffic is madness, its competition is murderous. But there is one thing about it – once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.” - John Steinbeck, America and Americans 1953
My photographic project Climate documents life on the streets of New York City, from trips made between 2016-19. At a time of perceptible change, both social and environmental, these images are a lament to a city and the resilience of its people.
Meteorological events punctuzate daily life and dominate headlines, and a total solar eclipse and Hurricane Harvey seemed to prophesy political tempests brewing. And at a time when we have the technical ability to be perpetually connected, we tenuously try to renegotiate our relationship with our environment and with each other.
The project was influenced by a book published in 1969 by the Magnum Photo Agency called America in Crisis, featuring photographers such as Eve Arnold, Burt Glinn, Philip Jones Griffiths and edited by Charles Harbutt and Lee Jones. I was inspired by the ethos of their kaleidoscopic image curation; all life exists simultaneously, kindness and adversity side by side. Undogmatic and mature, complexities accepted, it feels true to me. The city seems to embrace these very paradoxes and, to me, that’s what makes it so worthy of celebration.
Music: Al Green - A Change Is Gonna ComeVocals: Unknown subway busker