About the Project
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 46 million Americans live below the poverty line, that’s the highest number since they started publishing poverty figures more than five decades ago. And some economists and experts predict that number is rising. I traveled in the summer of 2011 with award-winning Danish photographer Joakim Eskildsen on an assignment for TIME Magazine to California, South Dakota, Louisiana and New York to document the lives of the people behind the statistics. We collected hundreds of photos and personal stories of people struggling to make ends meet–the unemployed, the homeless, the working poor. The overwhelming response from Joakim’s photo essay on TIME.com prompted us to expand the scope of the work by producing a book and our own multimedia website, including more photos, stories and the voices of people we interviewed.
The photographic content and field reporting was originally done for TIME Magazine and TIME.com. Special thanks to TIME director of photography Kira Pollack and the TIME photo department.
Natasha Del Toro
Natasha Del Toro is the executive producer of the American Realities website. In addition to writing, reporting and recording all of the audio interviews in the field, she developed the vision, hired the team and launched the Kickstarter campaign to fund the project. Del Toro is a freelance multimedia journalist who has worked on staff at TIME.com and has produced short documentaries and articles for PBS Frontline World, PBS World Compass, The Daily, Current TV, Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg Times, as well as working on a New York Times/PBS Frontline co-production. She currently hosts a national television program on PBS World Channel called America Reframed featuring documentaries and interviews with filmmakers and stakeholders about the changing face of the nation. She is also a 2012-2013 Fulbright award recipient for a journalistic project in Colombia on sustainable development and human rights. Follow her on Twitter: @ndeltoro.
Joakim Eskildsen was born in Copenhagen in 1971 where he trained with the Royal Court photographer Rigmor Mydtskov. In 1994, he moved to Finland to learn the craft of photographic bookmaking with Pentti Sammallahti at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, graduating with an MA degree in photography in 1998. His publications include “Nordic Signs” (1995), “Bluetide” (1997), “iChickenMoon” (1999), which was awarded Best Foreign Title of 2000 in the Photo-Eye Books & Prints Annual Awards, and the portfolio “al-Madina” (2002), which was made in collaboration with Kristoffer Albrecht and Pentti Sammallahti, and, most recently, "The Roma Jounreys" (Steidl Publishers 2007). "American Realities" will be published by Steidl. See more of his work at joakimeskilden.com
Sarah P. ReynoldsAudio Producer
Sarah is a radio producer, multimedia storyteller and investigator. She produces and reports for national public radio and her stories have appeared on programs such as NPR's All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Studio 360 and several local public radio stations around the country. Her award winning investigative and reporting work covers subjects as diverse as the housing crisis, hate crimes and migrant workers, some of which has culminated in a series of reports for national organizations working to change policy. www.sarahpreynolds.com Twitter:@sarahpreynolds
Laura E. BultAudio Producer
Laura Bult is an audio producer and storyteller. Her background is in community and NPR member stations as well as an audio production internship with StoryCorps in Brooklyn.
Frederik JoelvingCopywriting Editor
Frederik Joelving is a journalist based in Copenhagen.
Cia RinneCopywriting Editor
Cia Rinne is a poet based in Berlin. Her publications include zaroum (2001), the online-work archives zaroum (Afsnit P 2008), the book notes for soloists (OEI Editör 2009), and the sound work sounds for soloists (with Sebastian Eskildsen 2012). Cia has also been working on different documentary projects together with Joakim Eskildsen; their most recent common publication is a book on the Roma communities of different countries (The Roma Journeys, Steidl 2007).
Founder of Natasha's Court, a career development start-up. New
generation app developer / designer. Global citizen. Educator. Voting rights & data privacy advocate.
Hanifa HarrisResearcher and Production Coordinator
Alyson KruegerResearcher and Production Coordinator
Ida C. BenedettoWeb Consultant
Ida Benedetto is media strategist and producer. She makes games, immersive experiences and websites. Her game design company Antidote creates playful experiences for understanding complex realities. Her fringe experience design collaboration Wandelust brings people to places they shouldn't be. Ida loves to code. www.uncommonplaces.com Twitter: @idamantium
Scott AngerConsultant and Vision
Scott Anger is the managing director of The Lost Bird Project, an art-based environmental non-profit headquartered in New York. He is an award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker and former director of video at The Los Angeles Times.
Gaelen GreenConsultant and Vision
Frances RiddleTranslations and transcriptions
Frances Riddle is a Spanish to English translator and writer based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Samples of her work can be found at http://www.literatilanguageservices.org/.
AthensAthens Area Habitat for Humanity, special thanks to Executive Director Spencer Frye
Athens Land Trust, Special thanks to Housing Director Heather Benham
Community Food Bank of Fresno
Central California Legal Services
Central California Regional Obesity Program
Women, Infants and Children
South DakotaThe Cheyenne River Youth Project
Four Bands Community Fund
Okiciyapi Tipi Habitat For Humanity, special thanks to Executive Director Larry Fiddler
Richard Marks and Amy Haines
Miguel and Natasha Del Toro
The Mayer Foundation
Michael DeibertJeremy RobinsJoe CecchiniPatricia HallsteinJim FieldsDan FaginAdrienne DayNikki TreadwellJakob LundKelly CreedonJenna Weiss-BermanAnna SaleRichard RubinErin DavisVivian CabralAlisa SolomonBonnie McCay MerrittPeter AndersenWalter AlarkonEllan Bethia OteroJigar Mehta & Yasmin ElayatJosh GrayTero PaananenJake PriceHeather AkouInes Flores Forastieri de RodriguezJonathan SchienbergNina ChaudryGreg HochmuthKristin NienhuisVirginia CahillSharon TysonEve BaileyMaria F. PelegrinaDrury MacKenzieConny JensenMendy HeapsLischka CuinJohnny and Mara CuinJessica SeamansTheresa LoongKai JohnsonWendy SimmonsAdela Del ToroDanielle DoRhiannon KayeKaren BultDebi JoyceJames BlevinsMoises Velasquez-ManoffEileen 'Norris' DohertyHeather HaberBill ThomasLara KhouriArlene MoretzRasmus LohalsChristie VerolaIan VollmerJoseph DiCrescenzoCarmen CarronJoseph RodriguezSharon BerkowitzSuzy BarrosSabah FakhouryHelene LyAdela DrobnyTony StefanHillary Frank AubinLisa WhitemanJuan IturreguiIvan OranskyNancy BergDavid CrossDaniel FernandezShelly BaumannBetsy D’JamoosRoberta FernandezEric CantorBruce HadleyMichel PoklepovicMiguel, Christine, Diego and Joaquin Del ToroHeather DouglasMark BultColleen ParentHoward PierceTerri MosleyMartin BorlandDon PerlSerena HedisonAne Riis SvendsenThe Yates FamilyMara AltmanMiguel A. and Jossira Del Toro-MaldonadoGinny and Josh TurnpaughVirginia and Jose Del ToroVirginia RamirezRosario Del ToroJose Guillermo Robles-NavarroRebecca Navarro
Laurie WilliamsCristy MichelAleksandrGretchen WieseAlice SmeetsRobert M BarrRusset CovielloMariana KellerKirk LoveMaura McGovernRoger CunardIana ArandaGreg GlofakJulie LeibachCarrie BoydMeme FehmersIanKatelyn KellyBarbara ConnollySachi CunninghamYves Roy & Wacky BallerinaNancy RobertsFrankJessica JaegerRachel EhrenbergRatesh ChopraJoseph LynchNatalie WainwrightKora BongenKelsey ErwinTara Derr WebbVincent DeCesareMorna McDermott