Street Days

Photography by Mallika Vora

Seven years of life with the neighborhood that adopted me, nurtured me, and showed me love every single day.

Struggling artists and students may have no other option but to rent in a working-class neighborhood, but their mere presence signifies a shift towards “coolness” and “safety,” i.e. a higher police presence.

The urban working-class tend to be black or brown, immigrants or descended from immigrants, non-English-speaking, hip-hop, salsa, and bachata loving. Political and municipal systems equate their cultures with criminality, so the average white middle-class individual associates them with danger and never gets to know their neighbors.

If you walk by a person you see every day and never say hello, you turn the fixtures of a community invisible.

The idea of a neighborhood is based on knowing your neighbors: seeing the same people every day, greeting them, getting to know them as human beings. This was the basis of my photographic work, and what I found in return was the tenderest love from the toughest of communities. It is not one story, but thousands of interwoven threads.