Showing the struggle that follows foreclosure
Documentary photographer Kelly Creedon, 33, has put together a multimedia exhibit called “We Shall Not Be Moved: Stories from the grassroots struggle against foreclosure,’’ about people in Boston who have faced foreclosure and the risk of eviction during the ongoing national mortgage crisis. Creedon worked in conjunction with City Life Vida Urbana, a local nonprofit focusing on affordable housing and tenants’ rights, and the Bank Tenant Association, a group of tenants and former homeowners living in foreclosed properties.
Q. Why did you do this project?
A. 2008 was a big year for foreclosure. Everything was blowing up. I had interviewed a man for a story I was doing for Radio Boston who was being evicted. His wife had just died of cancer, and the banks wouldn’t renegotiate his loan. While researching the story, I came across coverage of eviction blockades, where 70 or 80 people show up the day a family is supposed to be evicted to stop it from happening. Some get arrested. It’s a compelling story.
Q. What did you do?
A. I followed individuals in this movement. I looked at their stories, how they ended up in foreclosure. I talked to them about that experience and the emotions around going through a foreclosure.
Q. What is special about your coverage?
A. What’s unique about this angle is we look at what happens after foreclosure. What we usually see are banks kicking people out and abandoned houses. The post-closure angle focuses on people trying to hang on. The goal is to stabilize communities by not leaving their homes after foreclosure. That’s not the end of the story.
Q. What about the legal process?
A. Foreclosure is one. Eviction is another. People facing eviction are working with legal aid organizations through the court process.
Q. What is on display at Great Hall?
A. There are 27 stills that form an overview of the project: portraits of individuals, photographs of different protests and rallies, looks at the neighborhoods and the effect of foreclosure on them. There will also be four audio slideshows: profiles of four families, accompanied by text stories.
Q. So what’s next?
A. I’d like to get this project out into the public as a way to generate public dialogue around foreclosures. In a way, that’s not happening; I’m not involved in the issue. My involvement in the issue is as a documentarian. I’m looking for more funding to spread the project into more venues. I’m interested in promoting this project to put it in more venues. The issue is not going away.