I cannot believe I briefly forgot about The Places We Live. This website made an enormous impact on me when it launched last year. It’s a great use of the medium: award-winning Magnum photographer Jonas Bendiksen captures startling imagery from slums around the world, and these are married with sounds and voices from the locations telling the stories of the families and individuals featured in the photos. You can navigate the 360 degree perspectives interactively.
To quote Aperture: “For the first time in history, more people live in cities than in rural areas. One-third of those city dwellers—over a billion people—live in slums, mostly in the rapidly urbanising cities of Africa and Asia. Slums have become the fastest growing human habitat in the world.”
I was reminded of this important work recently, thanks to coverage of the National Building Museum’s presentation of Bendiksen’s touring multimedia exhibit, developed in conjunction with the Nobel Peace Centre in Oslo. The exhibit is on view at the Museum until January 15, 2010.
If you are happy with your current intake of shelter blogs and mags, do not visit The Places We Live. You really can’t look at lush photos of architecture and decor the same way afterward.