Baltimore-based photographer Ben Marcin uncovers the illusive, hidden dwellings of Baltimore’s homeless in his series The Camps. Wandering about in the few wooded areas of the city, Marcin was shocked when he happened upon his first shanty, shrouded just out of sight from a street full of people bustling past unaware. Fascinated, Marcin began to seek out these secluded territories, learning where camps were likely to spring up behind various railroad tracks, Wal-Marts and fast food areas. Capturing each makeshift abode in full panorama view, the camps serve as juggernauts of ingenuity and discarded paraphernalia. Despite constant threats of theft and murder, most homeless here say they felt safer braving the elements than the warmth of city shelters.
Intentionally shot without any traces of the people who live here, The Camps allows the rambling shacks and structures to represent the souls of those fallen on hard times. Of the communities Marcin returned to, none remain standing. Whether abandoned, demolished or burnt to the ground, the dwellings and individuals have vanished, seeking another wayward home and fate unknown.
Marcin is represented by the C. Grimaldis Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland.