The Politics and Economics of Poverty: A Photographer’s View

Disperazione – By Jonathan Stone, NYU ’17

Jonathan Stone - Disperazione

This is a photograph of a beggar-woman on the busy streets of the Florence city center, near Piazza della Repubblica.  She prostrates herself, hoping that passersby will give some charity.  Though all of the other people in the photograph do not approach the beggar, there is still variety in their reactions.  Some continue strolling along casually, while others seem to be caught off-guard and choose to move away from the woman at the last second.  This poor woman shows diversity within the issue of poverty in Florence.  Many individuals struggling to get by sell stolen or cheaply produced merchandise on street corners or aggressively accost tourists by loudly shaking cups with coins clanging in them.  This woman, however, shows that in complete desperation, some Florentine residents have no choice but to express their need for others’ generosity in the most humble manner imaginable.

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