On June 10, French photographer Steve Fiehl will present RESILIENT SOULS at a private reception hosted by Bill Ford, Marigay McKee, and Jeffrey and Marjorie Rosen at the International Center for Photography.
“Jeffrey and I are thrilled to further support such an important Lower East Side organization such as The Bowery Mission and this powerful project,” Marjorie Rosen commented. “The International Center of Photography (ICP) has had a fruitful partnership with The Bowery Mission community, including presenting photographic and writing workshops that resulted in powerful self-portraits that were presented at ICP’s exhibition space at 250 Bowery in 2016.”
Steve Fiehl’s exhibition was first shown during the 20th Valentine Gala of The Bowery Mission and will be presented throughout 2019 in different public places. It has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Richemont North America.
“Bill and I are pleased to support The Bowery Mission and all the great work they do for the thousands of homeless New Yorkers daily,” Marigay McKee commented. “First, the humanity of the situation is essential to understand the scale of the problem we face and second, the talent of Steve Fiehl who took the portraits at The Bowery, gives unidentified guests an identity.”
Steve Fiehl spent several months in the shelters and the programs of The Bowery Mission, one of the oldest and most dynamic nonprofit organizations addressing the needs of New Yorkers in crisis. He will present a large exhibition of 30 black and white photos by mixing a documentary approach and deep, personal portraits of men and women in life transformation programs, struggling to get back on their feet.
“We all see people experiencing homelessness and hunger everywhere in the streets of New York, and their number has never been so high since the Great Depression,” Steve explains. “But we rarely know who they are, what their story is and how exactly they survive in such a harsh environment.”
Many photographers have taken pictures of homeless people in the streets, but few have been behind the doors of shelters or documented the way reintegration programs work. Doing so helps to get rid of the “homeless” label we usually put on people living on the street and see the man or the woman in need that every one of us could become.
“It has been a spiritual journey, where you navigate through very different feelings: fear and sometimes repulsion; pity and compassion; admiration and love,” Steve adds. “These New Yorkers are not “just” without a home; they are disconnected from their family and any kind of social relationship; they have no more trust in others or themselves; they have lost their sense of identity. But they are still here, -struggling. Those survivors of our contemporary world can teach us much more than we think about life, resilience and the importance of spirituality. They are wiser than many of us. I dedicate this work to those who have the courage to stand up and fight for their dignity as human beings.”
“Richemont supports the Bowery Mission through various initiatives starting with volunteering programs. And we’re thrilled to welcome this week our first Bowery Mission former client as a Richemont North America team member, hopefully the first of many”. says Alain Bernard. “Our involvement is the natural consequence of the will of so many of our Richemont colleagues to get involved in our local New York City community, and to try to act on helping those who need it the most. We just feel it’s our duty, as human beings”.
The next exhibition will come in the new ICP location late 2019/early 2020. And other projects under discussion.
About Steve Fiehl
Steve Fiehl, born in France, has lived in New York for the past five years. He has been first a successful businessman and sold his company, a leading e-learning provider dedicated to leadership skills, to an American publisher. He became a photographer here in New York and specializes in social issues and people portraits. Steve is a member of the International Center for Photography.
More Images From Steve’s Exhibition
**All images & video shared with permission from Steve Fiehl. Do not share or use the images without direct written permission from the copyright holder.
See More Of Steve’s Work Below
About The Bowery Mission
The Bowery Mission has served New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger since the 1870s. Each year, the Mission provides more than 653,500 hot meals, 167,300 nights of shelter, 46,400 articles of clothing, 13,300 showers and 1,300 onsite medical, dental and optometry exams. Each meal and every service is an invitation to residential and community programs that help clients make progress. Each year, the Mission serves 350 adults in its residential recovery programs and 800 more at the Community Hope Resource Center. To empower children to thrive and succeed. The Bowery Mission also offers year-round opportunities for enrichment through City Camp, culminating in summer camp for 900 children in the Poconos Region of Pennsylvania.
In order to more effectively combat the epidemic of homelessness in the New York metro area, New York City Rescue Mission and Goodwill Rescue Mission have joined forces with The Bowery Mission. Together, as one organization with nine campuses within New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, we offer new hope for a sustainable solution by sharing resources, collaboratively fundraising, and providing an enhanced continuum of care to men, women and children. As a result, we say “yes” to more people, more often, with better services, and love well www.bowery.org.
This seems like a pretty powerful and inspiring project, and were I able to make it to New York, i’d definitely go check it out. For those of you on the East coast, will you be visiting? Let us know what you think in the comments below.