Stories & Images of Poverty by Zane St. Juste
"Street Art" - Young man heading to SCHOOL in the morning, walking through the colorful backdrop of street art. Bridgeport, CT
There's a song that evokes change in the heart of those who listen to it's message and it's intent. This song is non other than “Man In The Mirror” by Michael Jackson. It's one of those songs that stirred us to really look within ourselves and make a conscious effort to bring positive change in our communities and our society.
I've found that art empowers us to make those changes. Whether you're a poet, musician, an artist, filmmaker or just the average person who likes to be creative, the tools we have along with the gifts we've been given can be the voice for those without a voice or platform.
"Harlem Sunset" Harlem NY
A song tells a story and gives an inspiring message using rhythm, rhyme, and melody but a camera let's us see the song. I am a songwriter and photographer; I've seen that both art forms can give a clear message of hope for the hopeless. I see songs in images before I even write them down. A photographer also uses images for their story or subject. So the relation between a song and a picture is one in harmony. The images you see here, are the faces of poverty, and the stories of those who are homeless.
"Give me your ears for just one second" - First meeting "Gina" Bridgeport, CT
At times we get distracted by the noisy sounds of the city and our own hectic and troubled lives but if we look at the reflections of our own selves in in the mirror we may see that things aren't as bad, especially if we can walk, talk, and use our own hands to eat and drink. When we look up and reach out to the brothers and sisters in our community with no food to eat, our personal problems seem small.
Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror:
"I've been a victim of a selfish kind of love, and it's time that I realize that there are some with no home, not a nickel to loan could it be really mean, pretending that they're not alone? A willow deeply scarred, somebody's broken heart and a washed-out dream. They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see 'Cause they got no place to be That's why I'm starting with me.”
"Pregnant & Homeless" - In 2013 I met "Gina" who was pregnant and living in a tent in Shelton CT. After filming her story I was contacted by a housing & homeless specialist (CT) who saw the story and with the help of community services in Connecticut she was found and received help. Bridgeport, CT
There are two quotes that I love from two artist who inspire me. One by the great poet Maya Angelou. She says, “A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” The other by the great photographer Dorothea Lang who said, “A camera is a tool for learning how to see without a camera.” It's true that we may not have all the answers to the issues of life but if we pay attention to the stories we hear, feel or see, we may find the lessons we need to learn in life. If we keep singing our inspirational songs, composing the rhymes & rhythms of life; using these tools to publish the stories around us along with the images we capture, with faith we can bring hope and change to the men and women we see in our community and society who were all made in God's image.
"Set Me Free" Man sits on the ground at gas station in need of change. Bridgeport, CT "Hopeful" Homeless but still has a warm smile. Washington Heights, NY
"Woman collecting cans" Tryin' to make a couple dollars. Bronx, NY
Man on the ground at gas station looking for "Change" Bridgeport, CT
"Man in the Mirror" Man sells cold bottles of water on a hot summer day. Wash. Hts., NY
Dedicated to “Gina”
Below is the video of Gina's story. It's called "Gracious"