Thursday 27 December 2018

Shocking drone photos reveal inequality across America's biggest cities

A photographer has taken a series of searing aerial photos revealing gross inequality across America where rich and poor live side-by-side.

Johnny Miller, who was born in the States but now lives in South Africa, has captured pockets of disparity across the country. 

His photos capture LA's skid row, homeless camps that exist alongside the dizzying luxury of Silicon Valley and RVs housing families priced out of the Bay Area.   

In Richmond, Virginia, he captures Gilpin Court - the city’s largest and oldest public housing project where 96% of the population is African American and the average income is $9357, way below the poverty line. 

In Detroit, he photographs Grosse Point which is the city's richest neighborhood and is separated by a canal from the rest of the city and Black Bottom which was once a vibrant black suburb but now lies in ruin.  

He also captures The Wall, a poignantly significant symbol of American apartheid running along 8 mile that used to separate white and black districts.

He also turns his camera to crime-ridden Baltimore where entire blocks have been left to collapse into ruin and the 'Road to Nowhere' highway which displaced thousands of the city's poorest residents but was never completed.

Miller’s drone aerials are not just limited to the U.S. The artist earned a global reputation for his series Unequal Scenes which investigates inequality across the world, starting in his home city of Cape Town.

He told 'I knew that inequality wouldn't look the same in the US as in other parts of the world, especially the Global South. 

'So I chose to look at themes - how homelessness relates to inequality, how infrastructure divides us, how historical decisions still affect us today; and some crazy juxtapositions with the tech industry.

'I think in the Bay Area in particular the fact that there are homeless encampments right next to these incredibly valuable companies is very telling about our values.'

'I have been interested in social documentary work for quite some time. It was a natural fit, using a drone to look at inequality in Cape Town because you really get a good sense of the divisions between neighborhoods, race, and class from above. The intent was always to provide a new perspective and get people talking about inequality. I did not expect how popular the project would become.'


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