Doc. Project: Week 2

For those of you who don’t know, I started a documentary project learning about some of the homeless people in downtown Cincinnati.  From week #1, see that post – Documentary Homeless Project.

Advice from CityBeat‘s New Media Director Cameron Knight:

Breanna,

The photos look pretty good. I want to see more. I think your next step might be finding a subject. Chico might be an ok subject, but then your story is about social work and not the homeless.  Chico could probably hook you up with some he works with often, someone he knows isn’t a ax murderer.  Don’t try to capture “homelessness” with your project. There are people who work their whole lives on telling the story of homelessness. Find a good subject and tell THEIR story. Think about what you’d title your piece: it’s it called Homeless or is called The Man Who Camps in the City. I think the second one is more compelling. If you want to make your life’s work about the homeless, that’s awesome, but think of this project as a first step, a first installment.  You’re definitely on the right track, just remember to focus in and (in my opinion) tell the story of a person, not a cause or a huge issue.  But here’s the other thing, if you tell the story of an individual who is homeless, your are telling the story of homelessness.  Just don’t think about it that way.  Hope this makes sense. Greg Flannery is very smart and extremely well connected. He could be a huge help to you in this project. Keep in touch with him (and having known you now for awhile, I know you will).  Good luck and BE SAFE.
~Cameron

This past Thursday, I went back downtown and I decided that I wanted to talk with Bo some more.  He was in his same spot on Court Street a little down from Walnut Street.  When  I was first walking up, it didn’t take long until Bo had a smile on his face and said “How are ya?” I said “school is keeping me busy, how about you?”  He said, “O, I’m ok, considering I got a hurt shoulder.”  Before I know it, I’m sitting on the ground next to him and listening to his many stories.

Since it was sprinkling a little bit, I covered my camera and found it to be a good time to be a listener instead of a photographer for a while.  After a while, once it stopped sprinkling, I got my camera back out and took a few pictures and got a few shots of him rolling a cigarette.  Here are a few pictures from that day:

Bo has a friend keep him company while he sits on Court Street and awaits passerbys.

Bo has a friend keep him company while he sits on Court Street and awaits passerbys.

Bo takes the time to roll up a home-made cigarette.

Bo takes the time to roll up a home-made cigarette.

On Friday, I went back to Court Street but I didn’t see Bo.  I’m afraid this may be a problem for the future since homeless people don’t necessarily keep a schedule.  Anyway, I took the opportunity to peruse around the block.  I found another “street person” over on Main St. next to PJ’s Deli.  I didn’t get a chance to talk with him much but here are a few pictures of Tony:

Tony is another homeless person who finds Main Streets his home.  He had just come back from the Mary Magdalen "shower house," so he especially had a clean shaven face.

Tony is another homeless person who finds Main Streets his home. He had just come back from the Mary Magdalen "shower house," so he especially had a clean shaven face.

Tony smokes a cigarette while holding his "homeless" sign.

Tony smokes a cigarette while holding his "homeless" sign.

A rock holds down Tony's money cup from getting blown away by the wind.

A rock holds down Tony's money cup from getting blown away by the wind.

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~ by bregaddie on March 31, 2009.

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