Faces of the Great Recession: Four Stories of Survival and Hope is a photo series designed to show the human beings behind the statistics. Everyday the news tells us the unemployment rate as some percentage that is just hovering under 10%. But, who is that 10%? Who are those Americans that have had their American Dream derailed by the Great Recession? In this series I am presenting the stories of the 10% through the efforts of the non-profits working to help them hang on to some semblance of their dreams. I explore four narrative in a five image photo essay per subject, resulting in 20 images. I am telling the story of the whole through the lens of the individual. This series serves a three prong effort: to make the public see beyond the statistics, to give voice to the citizens that are not being heard by our politicians, and to provide information to others going through a similar situation by linking them to the organizations that are working to help them. The series revolves around how the economic crisis is affecting individuals with a focus on unemployment, the shrinking middle class, the working poor, the immigrant population, and the exploding hunger problems. Each series focuses on a non-profit organization and the community of people it serves. The Chinatown Manpower Project serves the immigrant and refugee population. The New York City Coalition against Hunger serves New York City's food banks and pantries. The Bookkeeping Center serves the unemployed through job training programs. The Workers Defense League represents the unemployed when their benefits are under threat. My thanks to these great organizations for the incredible work they do, and for opening their doors and allowing me to document it. I hope to make each viewer think of the people behind the headlines and tie the struggles of its citizens back to the hopes of the country.
While the Great Recession is technically over on paper, its affect on the lives of ordinary citizens will be felt for generations. As the coverage moves from Wall Street to Main Street, we need to look at the discussions being held around the kitchen tables of America. Faces of the Great Recession: Four Stories of Survival and Hope is a look into not only the problem, but also the solutions and courage that can stand as a reminder that the next Great Generation may be in the making, and the American Dream can still be a reality for those not yet awakened from the nightmare of the Great Recession.