Photo series: California trailer park


#1

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#2

Strangely unsettling, but very well composed.


#3

I imagine if you walked into any neighborhood and asked them to put on their weirdest outfit combinations it would be a bit like this.


#4

I am living in a trailer park in CA while I go to grad school. Rent is way less than it would be on a studio apartment. My neighbors are mostly retired, though.


#5

My parents’ summer home is/was a trailer in an aging trailer park on the Indian River. Used to be mostly older people, but as they die off some dodgy folks are moving in.


#6

What do you find unsettling?


#7

It’s the seriousness of it that unsettles me - emotion must be drawn from the surroundings and attire rather than expression. Nothing seems staged; the level of absolute comfort is unmistakable. The guy shirtless behind the wheel? He is all about being shirtless and behind a wheel. The older lady smoking in her nightie? Ain’t no thang. Twain once said, “A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever.” So even though it’s a trailer park, which (and I’ll admit I’m stereotyping here) have more than their fair share of the silly and foolish, none of these photos communicate anything but stark earnestness.


#8

Plenty of racist and classist things are said about trailer park residents, much like the homeless. I think the hate is because of the fear of falling to or being born there.
This photographic study seems to be about posing people that are considered weird because of where and in what they live in weird dress and pose. Manufactured housing provokes a surprising amount of emotion and to way too many people represents some sort of moral failure to be that poor.
If someone is unconcerned about fighting a neighborhood mcmansion war manufactured homes can be very affordable if you can limit your cubic meters of stuff, assuming going double or triple wide is not an option. The problem is in many trailer parks weasel contract leased/rented rather than bought lots hold the homeowners at rent every month to ransom their homes.
The reason that mobile parks have the bad rap is because society has decided that they are a sketchy way to live, so a high percentage of people society rejects become mobile owners.
America needs affordable housing but it seems that we also love to hate on people who take on reasonable alternative housing.


#9

Nash,
Thanks, you nailed it, so damn serious despite the set up situation.


#10

I would agree with you, except most of the folks looked really ordinary. Somehow, only the ones who looked like crazed hicks wound up on Boing Boing.

Weegee also set out to document the most seedy and weird parts of his world, but before that, he was already a genius.


#11

None of these people seem particularly weird to me, but I grew up in the middle of Arizona where trailer parks and similar living situations were pretty common, so maybe I’m just used to interacting and seeing people like this more than others.

I don’t see any “hate on” in these photos at all, and in fact, I find these quite touching. People who live in trailer parks and other similar places are often invisible and I think it’s great that this photographer is giving them some visibility.


#12

Those photos conjured up the smell of the trailer park I grew up in. I don’t know if I’ve ever had that happen to me from a photo before. A bit of faux wood paneling and earth.

I’m glad not all of these photos are depressing. While I’d never move back to a trailer park I did have good memories and met a lot of good people.


#13

That was great - really reinforced every single stereotype I have of people living in trailer parks. I’ve always assumed that I’m better than what I always assumed were sad hapless, styleless and stupid people found in trailer parks. These photos have completely reinforced my existing beliefs, and have, I am glad to say, absolutely alleviated any thought I ever had that I would go to one. All I know is that you should always trust your inherent sense of arrogance, and that photos are truthful, not at all manipulative.

Bold work.


#14

Those photographs are beautiful. The people in the photos are tough, and touching, and some of them, painful to bear. Some are unbearably hopeful, despite carrying knowledge of obviously painful truths, and others are running as fast as they can from those truths, as their family members pick up the slack. It doesn’t matter that any of them happen to live in a mobile home park, or a mansion, or a tent. Those people are us. Those situations are our own. Many of us already have intimate awareness of many of the situations and emotions reflected in these photos, and if we don’t now, we soon will. It’s not about how you live, it’s about living, and the road marks we all must pass along the way.

Also: I love my leopard print nightgown.


#15

No shots of them gathered around the pinball machine.


#16

I would have liked a little context about the people in the photos. There’s one that shows a family on a couch underneath a flag, and one child–not sure if they’re a boy or a girl–looks really pale, and has bandages covering his/her legs. Without kind of knowing about their situation, it feels like a drive-by gawking.


#17

Trailer park photo essay? Or David Lynch casting session? You make the call!


#18

I got redirected to the front page of that site when I clicked your link, but it looks like you were shooting for this:


#19

Yes, that’s the photo. The link does work for me, but your embedding is better.


#20

California is still not out of the recession.
Of the jobs that have “come back” most are in fast food - so good paying middle class jobs have been replaced with low wage jobs. If this 5 year trend continues - then we will all (in California) be living in trailer parks. We need to do something radical to shift the California economy up and (actually) out of this recession - increasing international trade into California (which is the most internationally linked state in all of the nation) would grow (good paying) jobs and boost California out of this economy. Governor Brown has recognized this - this is why he is going on trade deals. SovereignCA.org has also advocated for California to have the ability to designs its own trade regulation so that it can “do” more trade deals and make more money (on average it takes the Fed gov about 10 years to approve a trade deal that CA companies are ready to fill). Dont believe it - check out: 'Global California" by Abraham Lowenthal