Between The Cracks The Story Of A Station

I often wonder how many people pass through the Bahnhof SBB every day, I'm there a lot and so too it seems are many citizens of the Basel area.It's been one of my main Street shooting spots for several years now. The design of the station lends itself to good contrasty light situations which can be dramatic on a sunny day. Everyone seems to get through the station at one point or another and as with all main stations it has its "regulars" I see them ebb and flow and disappear through the lens, sometimes they return, sometimes not, I always hope that it got better.

Over the years I have photographed and had contact with the men and women who seem to live in and around the station. It became a series of pictures called Between The Cracks I chose this title as it seemed to me from having conversations with different people that it’s not so difficult to slip between the cracks of society and to end up in the street or in serious difficulties.

Main stations attract a mixed bag of inhabitants, drinkers, users, the newcomers, the old-timers, the latest raft of refugees, the lost and the lonely, real life Tom Waits songs waiting to be sung and having been all of those at one time or another the stories behind the photographs are not lost on me.It's been the main inspiration for shooting there for half a decade, these are my themes, the search for a place called home, loneliness, addiction, separation and connection in modern life, human glitches and interactions.

In the words of Mr Gilden it's myself I'm shooting out there.

I’m not qualified to talk about the whys and wherefores of homelessness but anyone who has been in any of Europes major cities in the last decade can’t help but notice it’s on the rise. The debate will go on wether or not this epidemic should be documented by Street Photographers such, again I offer only my own opinion and sensitivity as a guide. I have mixed emotions about the subject which can change from day to day and shot to shot but having been close to that edge in my own life and being fortunate enough to return from that place it’s certainly a theme I am unable to ignore.

I slip between the cracks

No one sees me anymore

I have become invisible,

Who will tell my story

If I want it known ?

Who will remember

My greatness

When I am gone

Father, Brother,

Husband, Son ?

But among the crowd of strangers

There are those who come

Mother, Sister,

Daughter, Wife ?

They give of their small comfort,

When they have the courage

To slip between the cracks,

Behind the broken picture

I live and breathe

Until I am no more….

Created By
Gerri McLaughlin


all text & photos©gerrimclaughlin