The Streets We Share
A Senior Honors Thesis by Elizabeth Hasier
Many GW students feel our university lacks a sense of community. It's one of the most common complaints about the school and I know of students who transferred largely due to this very reason. I myself, agreed.
However, as my undergraduate years continued, I began to feel that perhaps this feeling of isolation is due to our defining of "community" only in terms of the student population. Perhaps, this was too limited a definition. Perhaps, to find a real sense of community in an urban college, GW students need to incorporate the non-student Foggy Bottom inhabitants into the equation.
In "The Streets We Share" I set out to get to know the people who live and work amongst us students here in Foggy Bottom, in thehopes of beginning to bridge that divide. The following portraits are of individuals I have had the pleasure of getting to know over thepast several months.
Though I was happy with the portraits I had taken, I felt the project was still not capturing their authentic experiences and rather was just a series on how I personally viewed them. To address this issue of photographic bias, I gave out disposable cameras and asked them to take photos of whatever they wished. The results are the 4x6 photos you see interspersed among the portraits.
My hope for this project, is to help GW students see these individuals as dynamic characters who are our neighbors and community members, and not just dwellers to pass by and ignore on our way to class. I believe GW has the potential to foster a powerful and welcoming community here in Foggy Bottom, but that's up to the students. It's up to us to remember that these our not our streets, these are the streets we share.