Photographer Spends a Year Chronicling Local Can Collectors in the Lower East Side

Lower East Side photographer Catjia Rehkamp has a new photography installation titled Out Caste in which she has spent the last year documenting the can collectors roaming our streets, picking through the trash for valuable aluminum cans and other recyclables.

The installation is on display at St. Mary the Virgin Church in Midtown near Times Square.

Rehkamp explains:

Shot throughout the LES, East Village, Chinatown and Soho over the course of seventeen months framing raw humility and very dramatic, broken absence. The images portray struggle and innocence participating visually and disconnected from communication out casted in her presence.

I found it impossible to accept this reality exists in one moment and in another recovering fascinated by their capacity for front lining a sustainable governance. Why don’t we recognize the widely prevalent bottle queens who are epic purveyors of a baton a worldwide tradable financial asset? Why do we lower our eyes not allowing ourselves to feel the anguish in our stomachs.

This is the first time I have stepped behind the lens.

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