Projects >> Photojournaling Poverty

“Photography helps people to see.” – Berenice Abbott


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As the largest American city by land area, Houston is incredibly unique amongst the country’s metropolitan centers. Unlike the classically cramped New York, Chicago, Washington DC, or Los Angeles; the extended nature of Houston’s geographic spread creates stark segmentation socioeconomic groups. Whereas a New York subway or a DC walk around the block can serve as a daily reminder of the vitality of poverty, Houston’s spread safely allows its denizens to avoid such culturally awakening experiences. Added to the lack of culture exposure is the fact that Houston’s activist community is less pronounced than in these other major hubs. Run a websearch on “Houston Poverty” or “Houston Homelessness” and the absence of evocative imagery is striking–particularly when we remind ourselves that nearly one-quarter of Houstonians live below the poverty line, over fifty-percent higher than the national average.

In an effort to create more nuanced understanding of homelessness and poverty in the city, the Rice Coalition on Hunger and Homelessness will be regularly sending volunteer photographers to capture scenes of Houston’s poverty for awareness campaigns on campus. As students at Rice can easily access census data, expert mentors, high end digital equipment, and a wealth of idealistic spirt–they are in the perfect position to begin telling the untold story of poverty in Houston.

Photo Gallery:

Check out what we’ve captured so far in the gallery below. (Note that all individuals shown offered consent to be photographed). 

[flickr_set id=”72157641922175863″ max_num_photos = “50” images_height = “100”]

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