Documentary Photographer Burroughs Lamar is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this documentary photography. From the ‘Harlem Documentary Project’. To see Burroughs’s body of work, click on any image.
In 2008, I did not aspire nor idealize to become a documentary photographer but I knew I wanted to do something meaningful and needed a project. I was born and spent most of my life in or in the vicinity of Harlem and always had a reverence for this community for it was rich in culture from a historical perspective given the many famous artists that made it their home. But, when you live here, you experience every day Black American life, good, bad or indifferent, is what I feared was being blighted out with the encroachment of gentrification. Therefore, I endeavored to show this Harlem and entitled my project. Harlem: Hidden in Plain Sight.
Every year, thousand of tourists or visitors mainly see the popular sights and neglect to see the very people they pass on the side walks nor do they know what ongoings occur behind the facades or its buildings or witness local or private events. As I have lived in this community, I was granted access into the lives where outsider photographers could not. My photographs tell the story of my beloved community firstly from a non stereotypical perspective which, it was renown for being a black ghetto and its attendant pathogens. Secondly, because this project has spanned over 12 years, it has become more than a documentary undertaking and has significant sociological and anthropological import. And thirdly, and final point, for each and every person that has granted me access into their lives, I carry the responsibility of have garnered their trust, not to exploit their images for financial gain but to allow their images to represent the pride of the community of Harlem which they call home.
All images and text © Burroughs Lamar
By Burroughs Lamar
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