Moments that would not typically catch the average passer-byer’s eye — a man reading the paper on the street, children playing in the water fountain, a woman checking her purse — are exactly what New York-based photographer, David Nelson-Hospers loves.
Born in 1989, David Nelson-Hospers uses his camera to immortalize not only the small moments many miss as they whiz by in busy cities but the significant class differences in America.
His work portrays the multitude of different lived experiences of the working class attempting to thrive in such a segregated city while actively touching on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on No Poverty, Decent Work and Economic Growth and Sustainable Cities and Communities.
It’s no secret that residential segregation and class division continues today in America. According to a recent report from the Pew Research Center, “Residential segregation by income has increased during the past three decades across the United States and in 27 of the nation’s 30 largest major metropolitan areas.”
Nelson captures this most prominently in his series, Knoxville, New Years Day. According to Nowhere Diary, Nelson-Hospers was taking a trip down south with his girlfriend and did not book his plane ticket out on time. This resulted in him having to stay a full day in a city completely unfamiliar to him — Knoxville. The creative in him told Nelson-Hosper to document his day, resulting in a series that captures poverty in the South.
These images highlight an unsustainable community and unstable infrastructure. According to Data USA, more than 26 percent of the residents in Knoxville live below the poverty line.
“I try to utilize my environment and what's happening around me to create pictures that reflect how I feel in that moment,” Nelson-Hosper told Nowhere Diary. “Whatever is rattling around in my head connecting with the world happening in front of me is the recipe for all my work.”
In addition to capturing the class divide, Nelson-Hosper’s raw images highlight gentrification in large cities. In recent years, Black neighbourhoods in Brooklyn have become taken over, with rent prices soaring, displacing multitudes of original residents.
This epidemic is infiltrating multitudes of communities across America and Nelson-Hosper is working to continue to document this.
“When you're tired, your feet hurt and you want to go home, walk a few more blocks,” says Nelson-Hosper.