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Paying Attention to Homelessness in L.A.

In his project "DownTown LA (DTLA)," photographer Alexo Wandael gets to "see" the homeless

In the summer of 2016 I started exploring the streets of Skid Row, Downtown Los Angeles. I had a camera and a white background with me. I began talking to the many homeless that live in the streets. I was engaging them in conversations, talking, listening and taking portraits of them. In one word I was seeing them. Their reactions amazed me: they were surprised that someone would be willing to talk to them, that anyone would be interested in their stories, and pay attention to them… It was an incredible human experience that I can only compare to the one I had in Afghanistan in 2012. Sometimes we don’t need to go very far to find desperation –It’s right here, at home. But we need to be to be willing to look at it, in order to see it.

The project was shown during the panel discussion “Homelessness in L.A.”, hosted by the University Club in Los Angeles, on April 5th, as part of the “Wicked Problems” program.

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