… it took me a while to swallow the irony of a poor African American singing that song on the bus in San Francisco. In the end, I feel like it’s a fitting title for this piece.

I wrote about witnessing the homelessness problem and its effect on me before –  especially while taking pictures as a tourist. When walking the streets of Oakland with my camera, I sort of got an answer to the question: How do I cope with people’s poverty? I want to be a traveller who doesn’t shy away from problems and uglyness.

Oakland | California, 2022


The woman on the photograph asked me about my camera and how old that thing is. In a way, my camera served as a conversation starter and made me feel much more comfortable to ask if I could take the picture. The little talk made me no longer feel like coming from the outside, like being in a zoo almost. Instead, I became a part of the scene. Taking this picture brought me closer to the woman. It was not so much about only witnessing homelessness but acknowledging it as a reality of peoples‘ lives …