For ten years, Baltimore has been my neighbor to the East. When people think of Baltimore, most recall The Wire, the HBO show created by David Simon, a former police reporter for The Baltimore Sun. The show, which ran for five seasons, brought the streets of Baltimore to the TV sets of viewers worldwide, illuminating the issues of the Maryland city such as drugs, violence, and corruption. Simon’s show was taken by some to be an overly negative portrayal of Baltimore, but many fail to recognize that it was simply that: his portrayal.
While The Wire is a fictional show based on real people, events, and experiences of Simon and others, my photographs represent my experiences, from the people I’ve met to the things I’ve seen. My photographs are a portrayal of my Baltimore. Certainly, I cannot cover the city the way every single person may see or experience it, but I don’t want to drive peoples’ perceptions of Baltimore in either way, good or bad. I’ve seen a lot of sad sights, but I’ve seen a lot of good things too. I say this because a common phrase I hear is “we gotta show people that Baltimore is more than The Wire”. To me, yes, of course Baltimore is more than 60 episodes of an HBO show, but in my opinion, that phrase is an easy way to sweep the issues the show dealt with under the rug. Depicting all the good that goes on in Baltimore is fantastic and there’s certainly plenty of it, but I just wish to document anything and everything.
Not currently living in Baltimore often makes me feel like an outsider, which in turn, makes me feel like I don’t understand Baltimore. By giving myself an excuse to talk to people and experience what the city has to offer, I’m learning quite a lot about Baltimore, as well as myself.