Enough is enough and I have decided to try to catalogue homelessness and addiction that surrounds us everywhere and in every neighbourhood here in Bogotá. As regular visitors to this blog will know, I am regularly out walking my dog through Lourdes Park and around this area of Chapinero and so, am exposed to a great deal of human wretchedness. Chapinero is a nice part of town and in no way are the worst cases here.
Previously I lived in the Candelaria and arguably the homeless and addiction was more visible there but, really, just to stroll down Calle 64 through Lourdes and then beyond the Carrera 11 reveals a great deal of human suffering. Even near to the well-heeled barrios of Usaquen and Santa Barbara you can see that this same certain human misery continues to exist.
The idea is not to gambol about with my long lens camera and become a target, but, I will quickly just snap shots with my smart phone. I want to be another unobtrusive participant in Bogotá’s daily cycle of life walking his dog. I will try to shoot photos from the car, at traffic lights when window washers approach and indeed as I stroll round the city on errands.
Will I be able to garner stories from these people? Possibly. Are they victims of abuse, were they victims from the conflict representing just one head amongst an estimated 5 million since 1958 in Colombia? Do they have safe houses to go to each evening? Perhaps I am late on this with all the publicity around the Bronx and the operations there, but, perhaps I can shed some light on the realities that stretch across Bogotá in all districts ranging from stratos 1 to 6.
So often, we just wind up the windows of the car, retreat to our comfortable homes, cross the road to avoid undesirable looking types, but, they are here and they are visible. There’s no avoiding the down and outs in Bogotá.