Title of a book by Jacob Holdt
, much like How the Other Half Lives
by Jacob Riis
. Holdt came from Denmark
to the United States
, and toured the country as a vagabond
for five years in the early 1970's. He took tens of thousands of pictures
, and later published them with commentary as American Pictures
The book exposes far more vividly than most people like to see, the effect of oppression on minorities and poor people. While it is not as graphic as many things we routinely see, it is much more disturbing, since everything in the pictures is a scene from a real person's day-to-day life. The commentary is similar, telling the stories of many of the people in the photographs. Here are two passages:
"...as a vagabond you cannot survive without seeing people themselves as without sin. Otherwise you would soon be eaten up inside by hatred and thereby close yourself off from the world around you."
"Your own fear of people can be overcome, because it is irrational and unfounded in reality, but you are powerless in the face of other people's fear of you: it immediately locks you up in a ghetto."