A friend recently directed me to The Places We Live, a book by Jonas Bendiksen which documents the living situations of people living in Caracas ,Venezula, Nairobi, Kenya, Mumbai, India and Jakarta, Indonesia, which hold four of the worlds largest slums. Bendiksen photographed twenty homes, showing people in the places they live. There is an accompanying website: www.theplaceswelive.com which showcases some of the same images and is well worth checking out.
I’ve taken screen shots showing homes in the slum of Dharavi in Mumbai because it is a place I have visited myself. Its a place that holds both hardship and active livelihoods, squalor and pollution and beauty. It is also completely unauthorized, built by squatters who are there on sufferance and will likely be evicted and replaced as Mumbai attempts to reshape its image and its landscape into a middle class city of the future.
Take a moment to check out some of these arresting photographs and think about the way that people on the Earth live – now more in cities than the countryside and more than 1 billion in conditions of abject poverty.