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I tend to spend a lot of time thinking about communities–what makes them healthy, what holds them together. Much like the trace elements in food, there are many ingredients that keep our communities connected that we don't truly notice or appreciate until they're missing.
The morning I set out to make these images, I heard on the radio that the unemployment rate in Spain is currently 25% for adults, and even higher for youth. My friend José has been telling me little pieces of stories about his community, and how it has fared during the economic crisis pounding much of Europe. It can all seem very abstract, until you learn some small details. The gas station where he lives is closed now. As is the store where he bought groceries. It's hard to imagine how a community can remain when some of the very basic human infrastructure is gone.
To understand better, I made the trip east, across the border, to the city of Buffalo, New York. Buffalo faced it's own crisis twenty years ag ...
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