On the first day of the DC program, Amanda Ottaway of the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting shared the concept of the #Everyday DC project (based on their #Everyday Africa project) with our students. She challenged the students to use photography to capture the “everyday” character of DC – to look beyond the monuments and tourist sites to document the “real” DC. For their final presentation, the 14 TOMODACHI students selected the photos that they thought best represented the daily life and DC culture they found here.
This is a photo of a Dominican Hair Salon in Adams Morgan. I took this picture because I felt DC has many stores and businesses that cater to more than one group of people. It shows the diversity in D.C. In the background you can also see ethnic clothing.
This is a photo of a truck offering free HIV/AIDS testing. D.C. has a high percentage of people with HIV/AIDS. This truck helps to spread awareness of STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) and the message of practicing healthy life styles and safe sex.
This photo was taken from the Lincoln Memorial. I thought this whole place was free and open, and it represents the freedom of America.
This photo is of a few people standing outside on the corner by Shaw-Howard University. I thought this was everyday DC because rarely do you just see people hanging around. Most of the time you see people moving all the time.
This second photo is of children playing. Actually they were throwing acorns out of their yard. I thought it was really cute. The reason I chose this photo is because it shows that DC is also home to people. As much as it is a transient city, where people come and go, people also do stay and live here and grow.
This picture is of a man playing a musical instrument. I saw many of these people in DC. Most of the people were homeless and in Japan there are also many homeless people. But I think this is a good DC point because in Japan homeless people will do nothing. But DC people are trying to get some money so I think that’s a good thing.
This photo was taken downtown. I was trying to depict the idea that people are working for their country. As you can see, the American flag is there and people are basically going down the street to work.
My first photo is an overhead view of DC at night. It symbolizes the beauty of DC and also how different people from all over the world constantly come in and out of DC.
This photo shows two black men selling oils to make a living. This is saying that DC is full of many people of different cultures, all trying to make a living for themselves, and that DC is also a home.
This scene struck me because despite there are so many garbage cans around downtown, I could see the trash everywhere in the street, everywhere.
This is of course a photo of Ben’s Chili Bowl. I took it because it’s a landmark in DC that’s been around for 55 years, and I think that’s amazing. This was also the very first time I’ve actually been.
I took this photo near my host family’s house. In Tohoku I always see “wild” nature. The nature in DC is “designed” nature. There are different kinds of nature.
This photo shows the White House. You have a separate set of gates and you have Secret Service police there. That’s everyday DC because it shows security’s big here.
When I walked around the streets, I saw lots of police and lots of bicycles. This picture is showing both combined.
I picked this picture of a homeless man. I think it’s kind of sad that a lot of us just kind of walk by – it’s so natural for us to see people who are homeless. I think it’s sad it’s become so normal we can ignore it.
They have these tunnels for construction in DC and a lot of them have art on the side. I think it’s really cool that even in a place that can be drab and boring we find ways to brighten it up with very pretty art.
This photo shows people just sitting on the street, this guy’s reading a newspaper. In Japan, especially Tokyo, it’s a really busy city and people are just rushing to their destination. This picture shows how people are really doing what they want to do.
One of the things I love about DC is the sky. Despite this being the capital of the world basically, the sky is very wide. That’s because the law prohibits people building higher than the Capitol. Also the signs are very plain and not as informative as they are in Japan.