Monday, December 29, 2014

Artist Statement For "Families of the Dump"

Here is a possible artist statement I am thinking of using for the coming Exposure photo festival show "Life on the Margins". I included a new poem at the bottom of the statement that I just wrote. I am not sure I will use the poem, and if I do it might be in a completely different form. I will also need to write one of these statements up for dad. Larry and I plan on mounting the artist statements to foam core board and placing them on the wall next to our photographs.

"Families of the Dump" Artist Statement

"As long as poverty, injustice and gross inequality persist in our world, none of us can truly rest."

Nelson Mandela

I make my photographs in the dump and elsewhere for one reason, to tell the stories of forgotten people. My hope is that the work will show the humanity, the dignity of the exploited and raise awareness into their lives.

The "Families of the Dump" documentary photography series was made at the Mae Sot, Thailand garbage dump. At the dump 400 people in 50 plus family groups live and work scavenging for recyclable goods. The families are made up of Burmese refugees mostly from the Karen ethnic group; who travelled illegally from Burma into Thailand. In Burma these people faced political and economic persecution, they came to Thailand to work in the dump hoping for a better life. These photographs tell their story.

Children Of The Dump
Flies in the sunshine
  Giggles with quick laughter
Garbage and long toil
  Play near barking dogs

Broken glass with sweet hugs
  Found food and lost school
Stomach worms and stinking waste
  Rat running with the rice

Hope and new life
   Children of the dump.

Please help the children and families of the dump by donating to:

Gerry Yaum

Update* Rewrote parts of the poem, I will use this version not the previous in the exhibition statement.