Print More

“Everyone has a creative side,” reads a caption in the new book entitled unseenamerica. “It’s just a question of giving them the tools to express themselves.” Four years of photography classes organized by Bread and Roses Cultural Project, Local 1199’s affiliate arts organization, did just that—teaching unionized and other low-income workers across the country how to document a world often omitted from traditional media imagery. Included in the book of nearly 200 grainy black and white prints are portraits of a home attendant lovingly embracing her elderly charge and a steadfast garment worker perfecting the techniques of his trade. Scenes from New York City dominate the pages: a parade of Falun Gong worshippers in Chinatown, the shadow of a doorman cast upon the building where he works, a homeless man rummaging through trash. At the book launch party held at the Guggenheim Museum last Monday—which happened to coincide with a day of immigrant walk-outs and protests—Esther Cohen, executive director of Bread and Roses and editor of the anthology, described the parallels between the two events. “These are the same people who are in the demonstrations,” she said. “And they are telling the stories of their lives in their own images.”
(T. Adams) [05/08/06]