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They are everywhere -- the low-wage workers who make our clothes, look after our children, and open our doors. They are the millions of people who form the fabric of our society -- but theirs is a world rarely seen.
In unseenamerica, a program created by Esther Cohen, thousands of workers were given cameras and lessons in photography, and then asked to document their lives. Through this collection of black-and-white images -- sometimes poignant, sometimes celebratory, and always honest -- the workers gave voice to their lives.
"A lot of people assume you are what your job is: taking out garbage or fixing plumbing," says Sam Contreras, a building maintenance worker and participant in the program. "They don't realize that there's an artful soul to everyone."
From a worker who photographed a horse and buggy because she says she feels like the horse, to a well-known Chinese architect turned trucker whose photograph of a bridge represents his path from that life to this one, the moving stories and images in "unseenamerica" give an authentic -- and much-needed -- look into the lives of working people.
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