Although I live in a city where not too many homeless people roam the streets or sleep on the beaches, church plazas and parks, we still have our share of those who do live under the naked sky. The homeless condition is, of course, global. In Europe it is growing. I don’t think governments exert much efforts to reintegrate these often maligned unfortunates back into the work force or try to find ways to turn them into productive members of their communities. So the homeless do what they can. They know that surviving on the streets is a matter of luck. It’s a Russian roulette they must spin every day as many dangers abound. Yet, if we should even take the time to notice them, it’s only for a few minutes and then we forget them.
They are invisible to almost everybody. Hardly anyone notices…or gives a second thought to…these people. But they are also part of our society. And a part of you, for we all share the same DNA. You see them when you are about to enter a church. You cannot ignore them for they are right in front of your path. Your eyes meet and you feel a certain strange sensation. Is it pity? Perhaps that drives you to reach into your pocket or purse and give the homeless beggar your change. And you wonder, have I done enough? You comfort yourself inside and thank God for your family, for yourself.
As you walk through the busy streets downtown you focus on your problems, your plans for the day and on the million things that you have to do. You try to ignore those who are living on the very sidewalks you’re walking on. And you know they are there. The homeless crowd the corners of your eyes. You finally take a look and wonder who these people were at another time in their lives. Where they always so poor? Did they loose everything? Why are they here? Why did they pick this corner, or that alley? It’s an uncomfortable feeling because that leads to wondering if that guy or that old lady could be me one day? Then you quickly push the thought aside and focus again on everything else that’s really important to you.
These pictures are from Valencia, Spain, where I live. I don’t believe these people are invisible. I think that although most of these homeless people that live in our streets are foreigners, they arrived in Europe with hopes and dreams. Yet something happened. I don’t know their stories but I plan at least, to document their existence in pictures. This is the first of a series.
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I am an artist living and working in Valencia, Spain. If you would like to get to know my artwork better, (paintings and drawings), please go to my Instagram @Francisco_Bravo_Cabrera and to see my new 2019 collection titled “JaZzArt en Valencia” you can visit…browse only, no need to purchase…my online galleries at http://www.ArtPal.com/rfbravo1155