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Tunnel People by Teun Voeten

Umbrage Gallery
111 Front Street, Suite 208 , 212-796-2707
September 16 - October 30, 2010
Reception: Thursday, September 16, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Exhibition Opening Reception: Thursday, September 16th, 6-8 PM

with photographer Teun Voeten and special guest speaker, Stephanie Cowles of Project Renewal

In the winter of 1994 and summer of 1995, war photographer and reporter Teun Voeten picked up his anthropological roots and studied an underground community of homeless people that lived in a rail road tunnel on Manhattan’s affluent Upper West Side.

For months, he lived, worked, and slept among the so-called “tunnel people” and managed to gain unprecedented access. Voeten’s research resulted in his first book, ‘Tunnelmensen’, published in Amsterdam in 1996. The translated and updated version, Tunnel People, has just been released in the USA.

The photo series is unique in the way that it documents all aspects of homeless life in strong, yet simple images. The transparency of Voeten’s photos transport the viewer immediately to the dark netherworld of the underground homeless. Tunnel life is not all misery, however, and Voeten manages to portray the tunnel people as hard working, proud people who experience bright spots and fun times in their lives as well.

In this exhibition and the updated version of the accompanying book by PM Press, Voeten tracks down the original tunnel dwellers and describes what has happened in the thirteen years since they left the tunnels.

About the Artist:

Teun Voeten is an award-winning photojournalist and author who has worked covering the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sudan, Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza. His work has been published in Vanity Fair, Newsweek, The New Yorker, and National Geographic, among others. Voeten is a contributing photographer for organizations such as the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations. He has published three books: Tunnel People; A Ticket To, a collection of Voeten’s hard-hitting war photography along with a much-cited essay on war photography; and How de Body? Hope and Horror in Sierra Leone, about his work on a project on child soldiers which nearly ended in disaster when he was hunted down by rebels intent on killing him.
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