Gold / 2010 / Book / Documentary
Our World Insideout
For the last six months, I've been capturing homes in foreclosure and shortsale, all around Chicago, from the inside.
I've been to properties with notices up since 1998, walked though gates with layers of cobwebs, into homes with what is left behind; the day a family & children were evicted, the day the owners ran out of funds to complete construction, the day the owner died and the family neglected to clear the home of the deceased's belongings.
But what happens after?
We lock up, board up, and toss away our homes, making them unusable as time passes on. However, what is wrong with using the old and making it new? It allows our economy to grow in a more cradle to cradle fashion / in a more sustainable system. After all, we no longer live in shrinking cities. we need to figure out how to use what we have. Here in the United States we have the right to use property that is available and unused. Its called: adverse possession. Essentially, a person takes public possession of a property, improves it, & after a certain amount of time, he or she will acquire title to the property.
What is important is that property should not remain idle. When it does, it is wasted to the community. However, no one can use this law because we stigmatize these empty homes. Eventually they go into such disrepair the only hope is to bulldoze or allow them to decay into the earth.
But what about the rest of the world?
Through travel and word of mouth, I've learned that other countries, in some cases, create homes out of what is left behind. This is what I want to document next: Our world Insideout.
Our World Insideout was created with the hope that it will incite a visual, global dialog concerning the used and unused resources we call home; thus, inspiring change. It touches on many levels of humanity & one of the most sacred places for us: home.
- Alyssa Miserendino, October 2009
Alyssa Miserendino is a photographer living in Chicago, Illinois with her awe-inspiring husband Conor. Family, friends, experiences, & the world around her are the inspiration she draws from. Slowly finding her way through this world with the help of a camera, this project was born from a raw personal experience. She hopes familiar emotions can incite a global dialogue concerning our resources & how to help each other through life's economic cycles.
When she is not working on her fine art series, she enjoys creating portrait sessions, celebrating who her clients are & the inspiration they foster.