As a photo about the Orlando massacre, Ruddy has done something extraordinarily bold with the scale here. Confining the newspaper (and the political and media hysteria) to the background, he instead prioritizes the everyday. More than that though, he foregrounds the working class (or working poor), the minority, the immigrant — and above all, this country’s social and economic fabric. If chaos in our society, he also emphasizes, is not nearly as cataclysmic as it is elsewhere, this is still where attention must be focused to the extent America remains ignorant.
Original post by @ruddyroye via Instagram:
June 13, 2016
January was just going about his work as usual, clearing the beds of their stale white sheets.
He happened to cross my lens, his English as bright as his ambition flowed eloquently through the narrow passages at the Omni, as he wished me good morning.
I had pulled out my camera to photographed the newspaper when our paths crossed and so I stopped him. He believing that my lens pointed downward absolved him from taking up a role in my photograph, stood motionless.
January is from the Congo, a country whose embattled past has been well covered and documented.
This morning I had an interview with a local radio station, where I suggested that until all discipline of the art world, and all sections of the community joined ranks and exposed hate, intolerance and the ignorance in our society, it is going to be harder for the one or two groups that are engaged in the fight.
The massacre in Orlando captured in a newspaper at his feet is not news to January, violence runs rampant in his part of the world.
“I am from the Congo,” he told me.
(photo: Ruddy Roye/Instagram.)