Tuesday, August 9, 2011
How We Picture Homelessness
Homelessness in America is hard to picture for those of us who haven’t experienced it. Statistics on homelessness, like the definitions of the term, vary, but some estimate that 3.5 million people experience homelessness in a given year and about 842,000 people in any given week. Forty percent (and rising) are families with children, while 1.37 million of the total homeless population yearly are children under the age of 18, many of whom have no adult guardians. The homeless live in urban and rural settings, yet they seem invisible in any landscape. Hobos to Street People: Artists' Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present, which runs through December 4, 2011 at the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University as part of a larger tour organized by the Western Regional Advocacy Program, aims to give a face to homelessness through the art of artists who have closely observed the homeless and, in some cases, been homeless themselves. How they picture homelessness through American history speaks volumes about how about how we picture homelessness. It also gives a visual “voice” to those who have no voice in the political debates that shape what kind of country we are, and will be. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How We Picture Homelessness."
[Many thanks to the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University for providing me with the image above and other press materials related to Hobos to Street People: Artists' Responses to Homelessness from the New Deal to the Present, which runs through December 4, 2011.]