Mary Lou Uttermohlen: Structure Out Of Chaos
Shantytowns of America's Homeless
“I began to document the shantytowns in Florida in the 1990’s when most villages were made of plywood and I was shooting on B&W film. The camps were self-segregated along common interests that included children, transvestites, prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics, illegal immigrants and mental health issues.
Over time my equipment has evolved and my style has shifted. In recent years the work is done in color with a digital camera and battery operated studio lights. The camps have also evolved and now include tent cities.
With funding I will be able to visit more unique shantytowns around the country including Portland, Oregon, where they have organized tent cities, and Pensacola, Florida, where the mayor tried to pass a law to ban people covering themselves with a blanket in public. I would like to visit as many different states and circumstances as my budget will allow so I can illustrate the spectrum of this national problem.”