Street Advertiser | San Antonio, TX | 1-Person Household | Lives on $432 fixed monthly income, 2007, by Mark Menjivar
What we keep behind closed doors, in drawers, places we think that no one else will see, can tell a lot about us. As of late, it seems, a lot of photographers have been peeking and prying into these private spaces: Coke O'Neal documents strangers' medicine cabinets, Paho Mann photographs junk-drawers, and Hey, Hot Shot! contender Mark Menjivar records the contents of refrigerators.
He describes his process:
This project began as I spent time with people who have experienced hunger. As I traveled around the country going to food banks and soup kitchens, my thoughts increasingly turned to the food items they ate on a daily basis. If we are what we eat, then what can we learn by looking closely at the foods we consume? A refrigerator is both a shared and a private space... I see these photographs as portraits of those I have come to know. They are rich and they are poor. Vegetarians, Republicans, the hungry, members of the NRA, Liberals, Catholics, under-appreciated, Atheists, the unemployed, former soldiers in Hitler's SS, midwives, mentally ill, dreamers, and so much more.Menjivar's entry included the above photo with two others that contrasted sharply, one freezer packed with meat, and another refrigerator overflowing with greens and produce. You can see them and more on his website. With the cost of food rising, the value of the dollar dropping, and more choices and responsibilities than ever when it comes to food (if we are fortunate enough to even have a choice), it is more and more apparent how those choices and responsibilities define who we are and what we have by what we eat.