Finally, the American Realities book was published by Steidl!


You can check it out and order it here.

And this is a review on

“Anybody Could Fall Into Such Hardship”: A Photographer’s Look at Poverty in America

By David Rosenberg

Firebaugh, California

Joakim Eskildsen never considered himself to be an assignment photographer. That changed when Kira Pollack, Time’s director of photography, asked him to work on a project about poverty in the United States. Pollack had seen Eskildsen’s book The Roma Journeys, a detailed look into the lives of Roma Gypsies living in seven countries. So for a project in 2011, Pollack asked Eskildsen to photograph some of the most impoverished areas in New York, California, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Georgia over seven months.

During his first trip to Athens, Georgia, Eskildsen traveled by himself. He said that Time liked the work he produced, but he felt he needed someone to accompany him, since the subject was too intense to deal with alone. Throughout the rest of his travels, he was joined by journalist Natasha del Toro, who also wrote the texts for the photographs that eventually became part of his new book, American Realities, published by Steidl.

“The stories and the atmosphere were very depressive, and almost everyone we talked to or interviewed cried at some point,” he wrote via email. “It was in many ways very hard to face all this. I had the feeling anybody could fall into such hardship.”

Eskildsen said that he prefers to spend a significant amount of time with his subjects so that his presence feels less jarring to them. During this project, he said many of the encounters he had with his subjects were brief, lasting at most a few hours, so he returned to visit them several times.

Eagle Butte, South Dakota Fresno, California

To read the rest of the article, visit

Comments are closed.