IN THE SHADOW OF POWER Life in the World’s Most Powerful Capital 


During a period of three years, I photographed the social contrasts and complexities of life in Washington, D.C. For weeks at a time, I’ve ventured south from my home in New York to explore the inscrutable capital city. As the stage for the workings of the globe’s dominant government, Washington shares the spotlight with many great cities of the world, but it is poorly known—even though photographic treatments documenting its powerful figures and symbols abound. Some sobering statistics suggest mental images not normally associated with the seat of American democracy: the most cases of AIDS per capita; the highest infant mortality and worst child poverty nationwide. Yet most people, even most residents of Washington, hardly notice the harsh reality that underlies these statistics. Tourists enjoy the stately architecture, many museums and stunning monuments and the professional class circulates largely between upscale or newly gentrified neighborhoods and their workplaces. Elements indicative of failure or hardship and those of apparent success seldom intersect in Washington. The images in this booklet reflect my ongoing explorations of the city, and my attempt to depict all of Washington in purposeful swings across its social and cultural landscape.

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