Monday 13 February 2023

Picture Post #42 Tin Walls

'Because things don’t appear to be the known thing; they aren’t what they seemed to be
neither will they become what they might appear to become.'


Posted by Martin Cohen


Shanty Town 
OK, I said that the next Picture Post should be from Ukraine, where there are so many scenes of urban destruction, yet destruction is not only sadder than dilapidation, it is also somehow less interesting. Destruction tells a story of random violence, or the impersonal power of nature gone mad, but it is not a human story. This image, however, is a tale of human ingenuity and perseverance.

There's a kind of aesthetic too, in the parallel and vertical lines - as if drawn by a rather slapdash artist. Likewise, the rust gives the steel sheets an interest beyond their actual purpose, which would surely be just to keep the rain out.

That people live like this is really rather a terrible indictment of a world in which there is enough wealth for everyone, if it could be shared out, but to me this house is also testament to something more positive: a specially human mix of enthusiasm and tenacity.

1 comment:

Keith said...

These irregular sheets of corrugated metal, framing impermanent ‘homes’, yell poverty, deprivation, and global inequality. As well as the absence of what others might regard the basics: safe water, electricity, sanitation, and drainage. Although I don’t see anything ‘aesthetic’ in the jagged patterns that result — duplicated, I presume, by the thousands comprising the shanty town — I do see human resilience. How else, after all, might these families bear up, in the paucity of realistic hope. Though that’s likely no comfort for the people unfairly abiding this grim lifestyle.

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