There were numerous drafts of this, but none of them felt appropriate, or managed to capture the horribly poignant nature of that jarring English phrase. Then it dawned on me that the words in the photograph said something, but at the same time had absolutely zero substance, and that seemed entirely fitting considering how the problem of poverty is almost always approached.
This is so sad…….. All I can do is pray one day she (??) gets a break and that message comes true.
Yeah, hard to see things changing, but let’s hope they do — and quickly.
Start the day with a smile
but you might have to get in there quick.
It certainly brings a sense of engagement; is it co-incidental, the sign of an endless optimist, or of a sense of humour, or just an ‘english phrase’ and fortunately(?) not a rude one?
Maybe not appropriate, but maybe necessary.
Impossible to say, but there are so many bags with whimsical or optimistic phrases printed on them, so probably just one that was picked up somewhere. A rude one, on the other hand, could have perhaps been more fitting?
Good call on the appropriateness. Not sure whether it is or not to be honest, although to me the bag made taking the shot justifiable. I also take photos of everything else, so to self-censor on something that in many ways demands more attention also seemed wrong. That said, it’s still a tricky one…
I think my second ‘maybe’ was one too many, especially in view of the bag invocation. It is a refreshing change to brand advertising.
Agreed; it is a risky path pretending things don’t exist.
That’s very true about the brands. Some of the phrases can be unintentionally amusing too.
It’s a tough one.
In Tokyo homeless people seem to be tidied away by the authorities and are never, in my (limited) experience, demanding or intrusive in any way. In stark contrast to my experiences of the same in London and Paris. I recently saw a program about an NPO called Bethesda in Sapporo who help homeless back on their feet, and there were so many similarities to a similar place I spent time at (as a visitor) in London it’s clear the problems and solutions are similar – just dealt with by the authorities and coloured by cultures differently.
Drawing attention to the issue is good IMO.
I’ve seen a few NPOs in Tokyo helping out with food and medical issues, so that is good to see. How much the authorities help out with any of that work I don’t know, but at least there is some support out there.
And thanks. That’s good to know. Always tricky posting stuff like this.
Bernadette Siobhan Loftus says
The lone soda can standing apart really caught my attention. It seems so deliberately placed, yet everything else is so haphazard. Almost like the can is social distancing but not just for medical reasons but societal reasons too. There’s just so much I see in this. So much sadness and shame. It’s like the saying on the bag is for humans, but society has decided she is not one. Your picture humanizes her. Despite its depressing nature, I find there’s beauty and warmth. She’s not on display; she is simply being seen. And, for the homeless, that can be a lot.
This is such a lovely, heartfelt comment. Really pleased you see so much in it, and that you feel the photo is more than justified. That’s both rewarding and reassuring. Thank you very much.
Agreed! I’m glad I caught that comment and ‘being seen but not on display’.