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Anything helps

Cecilia Borgenstam | CA, United States

Knife, October 6, 2018

Pieces of clothing and everyday objects left in transient camps in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park reinforce the invisibility of the rapidly growing community who are experiencing homelessness in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

The definition of “transience”, a word used to replace the term “homeless”, is “short-lived” or “a state of briefness”, but in the context of displacement, the state of transience can be anything but brief. In Here/Not Here, I photograph objects in abandoned camps in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park but the visual topography depicted is sadly not isolated to a specific geographical point.

Ordinary day to day objects are left to interact with the natural elements of the park, where the cold pacific coast fog and strong winds make their own mark on the rugged terrain. The material impermanence of these found, dystopian still-lives, morphing over time with the landscape, speak of their previous owners’ long-term exposure, vulnerability, and relentless determination. These imprints of human interactions with discarded objects demand that we consider reinforced invisibility. They are metaphors for the physical and tangible existence of those living behind the definition of “transience”.

The photographer donates a percentage of image sales to the Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco (CA).

Larkin Street Yout Services


Cecilia Borgenstam



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