The photos -- which also appear in a companion book and at www.homelessworld.org -- are a rich, often alarming, assortment. They include street-begging toddlers in New Delhi, glue-sniffing young men wandering the deserts of Nairobi and groups of schoolkids overjoyed just to be in a classroom, however dilapidated. The images -- accompanied by commentary from the young photographers, some of whom demonstrate a real artist's eye -- present colorful, detail-rich, intimate tableaux of everyday life. In most of them, poverty is vividly and authentically captured -- not as an abstraction, but as part of the children's existence.
Home/Life is a product of the Rotterdam-based Homeless World Foundation. In Denver, the exhibit is sponsored by the Children, Youth and Environments Center for Research, a new program through the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado at Denver. Home/Life is a fitting introduction to the Center, which explores and seeks to improve the relationship between children and their environments.
"We see the kids in places that are filthy, contaminated, really squalid-looking. You can really start to imagine how someone's physical space affects them," says Darcy Varney, special-projects coordinator for CYE. "It's a great way to really look at homelessness in other cultures and think about it in an American context. Our poverty isn't quite as dire here. Our homelessness is more hidden."