• Dysinteria in an American City •

Hidden beneath the surface of a large, metropolitan city lies a hidden world of inhabitants whose survival is dependent upon the phases of the moon.

Living in these dark, cobwebbed storm tunnels are the underground homes of hundreds of dispossessed people who have created dwellings for themselves in the cavernous tunnels.

With over 200 miles of hollow tunnels beneath the city, disease and venomous spiders are but a few of the hidden menaces lurking underground. The risk of flash floods in the winter is also a serious consideration. When flash floods strike, they are often torrential and quick and fast become death traps. Cases of drowning are not uncommon while splashing through several feet of stagnant, infested water is a daily occurrence.

While offering a guided tour of his home to The Sun, Steven Dommermuth – who moved into the tunnels after he lost his hotel front-desk job because of a heroin problem – explains: “We use our imagination a lot. Our bed came from a skip outside an apartment complex. It’s mainly stuff people dump that we pick up. One man’s junk is another man’s gold.”

With no real possessions, Steven and Kathryn have displayed a little ingenuity of their own with a shower made from an office drinking water dispenser that sits alongside damp-resistant crates and resourcefully fashioned furnishings.

This appears as a paradox of allegory-while the displays of wealth and consumption are above the latent presence of the abandoned are below.

Photos courtesy of :
Austin Hargrave
Austin Hargrave Website


~ by Voltima on April 29, 2010.

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