Photographs by Daniel Traub.
Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg, 2014. 124 pp., 50 color illustrations, 11¾x9½".
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Philadelphia born photographer, Daniel Traub spent three years photographing in North Philadelphia, a predominantly African-American neighborhood. Traub, who had previously been working in China for a decade, returned to the United States in 2008, at a time of economic crisis. After years photographing communities at the margins of Chinese society, he felt drawn to look at disparities in his own country. The neighborhood, however, was not new to him. As a teenager, Traub spent time working at a project started by his mother, artist Lily Yeh, converting abandoned lots, with the help of neighborhood residents, into sculpture gardens and community spaces. That experience left a profound impression.
North Philadelphia consists of photographs of street corners, house facades, churches, vacant lots, and portraits of the residents. The vacant lots, of which there are some 40,000 in the city, form breaks in the urban fabric. These openings are often repurposed by residents or left for nature to reclaim. Framed by the adjoining walls of standing homes, they are discrete landscapes embedded in and yet removed from their surroundings.
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