21st Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People

My friend Josef. Bavarian anarchist, artist, poet and intellectual vagabond. Photographed for a current long-term project about homelessness in the country's richest city. Munich is the richest city in Germany, residents have 1/5 more purchasing power than in the rest of the country, but rents have increased by 20% within the last 2 years. This is too much for many people and they lose their home. At the same time there are 19.000 social housing units less in Bavaria than ten years ago. Today 9148 people are considered homeless in Munich, but the number of unreported cases is high. How many of them live on the street is difficult to say. Many are only temporarily without a roof, for others it becomes permanent. There is not the one reason for homelessness and people I am currently working with are just as diverse. Men and women, young and old, Germans and foreigners, with good vocational training and without school-leaving qualifications. People with alcohol or drug problems and others who don't even smoke. Those who want their old life back and others who somehow have settled into this new one. Some fail in themselves in changing for better, but many in the system. I experience all this without judging, but it should be obvious that every person has the chance of dignified accommodation in an environment where many live in absolute abundance. Josef recently found accommodation. After more than 30 years on the streets.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2023
Date Uploaded: 11.2023
Photo Location: Munich, Germany
Camera: LEICA Q2
Copyright: © Toby Binder