Socially irresponsible photography

2019, February 21

Autorius: Pijus Simonaitis

“Say that you love Trump” chuckles a bored TSA officer as I stop dead. Welcome to New York City.

Chrome cars, spider-men, homeless, countless helpful-stoned-aggressive-saint-like homeless and industrial quantities of coffee. Surrounded by the blue-collar workers I eat 1$ slices in the Garment district, watch the Cuban girls on the streets of Union city at night and drink the Café con leche they serve in the morning. I am always on my feet accompanied by a girl threatening to pull out the gun and a few seconds later vomiting on our bags in the subway, a comedian joking in the Village about his father, a firefighter that rushed into the twin towers while high on cocaine, and that voice in the crowd shouting “white lives matter” as a black bathroom attendant hands you a soap and a paper towel in a crowded restroom.

I point my camera at the skyscrapers taking me away from the bustle of the city. The postcards I shoot leave out the stories

of me freezing as I reach for the glove compartment after being pulled over by a police patrol,
clutching my wallet as I listen to the accounts of the recent armed robberies in New Haven,
turning a blind eye to a family reading a book with a flashlight before sleep on a floor of the Port Authority Bus Terminal,
crying at the 9/11 monument…

Watching the black smoke disperse in the blue sky in the sight of stars and stripes I think of all these stories I am unable to tell as a photographer. Then I put away my camera and prepare for the whale watching.

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