Alone together in the metropolis
“[S]ociety on our planet is like the anonymous crowd at a major airport: a crowd of people rushing along in haste, mutually indifferent and ignorant.” —Ryszard Kapuscinski
Desperate Intentions is a journey through New York, a chaotic and always too busy metropolis. The exchange of words, desires, and memories that is typical of many cities often doesn’t exist here, where solitary shadows cross the urban landscape facing the paradox between the myth of New York as an island of salvation for many immigrants and the human desert that often welcomes newcomers.
Marshall McLuhan’s “global village” doesn’t exist. “Because in essence,” says Kapuscinski, “village means physical proximity, emotional warmth and intimacy; co-presence and coexistence; compassion and communion.” We do not live in a global village, but rather global cities where busy, frantic people walk around, indifferent to others, with no desire for closeness. New York is the perfect example of modern alienation, loneliness, and mass culture, where the wealth of electronic devices at our disposal leads to ever-reducing human contact.
This series was shot between 2009 and 2010 using analog cameras, without any digital manipulation.
Viviana Peretti is an Italian freelance photographer based in New York. In 2010 she graduated in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism from the International Center of Photography. In 2000, after graduating magna cum laude with a BA in Anthropology from the University of Rome, she moved to Colombia, where she specialized in photojournalism and spent nine years working as a freelance photographer.
She has received fellowships and awards from the International Center of Photography, the Joannie M. Chen Fund in New York, the University of Salamanca, the Spanish Embassy in Colombia, the Photo Museum in Bogotá, and the Colombian Ministry of Culture. She has been published in a number of international newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times and New York Magazine.