It is one of the largest homeless encampments in the United States – hundreds of makeshift structures and 700 to 1,000 residents. Not far from Disneyland, it winds for two to three miles along the Santa Ana River Bed in Orange County, California, a sand-covered concrete flood control channel on one side and a changing urban landscape on the other – the parking lot of Angel Stadium, the Orange County Register newspaper building, a mobile home park, a fancy apartment complex, glass-covered office buildings. Occasionally a cyclist zooms by on the bike path that runs straight through the encampment, but mostly it’s residents – many of them on bikes (which neighborhood locals complain are stolen). Some structures stand alone; others are grouped together in compounds, with makeshift fences, for greater security. Dogs are everywhere, chained on guard duty, in bicycle baskets, or on leashes with their owners. Signs went up on January 16th – officially announcing that the city will clear the riverbed homeless encampment on January 22nd as part of a plan to close the area for an “environmental remediation project.” County officials say the area is unsafe for habitation, especially during the upcoming rainy season, but homeless advocates have called the plan illegal and inhumane.
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In a recent interview with Bridges Unite, VII Emeritus Member Maggie Steber talks about her first job as a photographer, her love for Haiti, and how she finds beauty in unexpected places.
“When you look at Maggie’s trajectory, the accolade of awards and recognitions speak to her success as a photographer. But at a closer glance, her biggest achievement lies in her work’s ability to look humanity in the eye without shying away. With her resilient, observant nature, she has encountered its many faces, and brought their essence, uninhibited and pure, to light.”
Read the full interview here >>
The Guardian recently reviewed “OUT: LGBTQ” by Maciek Nabrdalik.
“A book of portraits and testimonies from Poland’s LGBTQ community speaks volumes about entrenched rightwing zealotry and intolerance.”
Click here to read the full review.