Sunday, October 6, 2013

Eleven years later

Toni had here first child at 19. She is now 28 and has three children, the youngest of whom we see here. Toni's boyfriend is the father of all her children but he is away for a while and she misses him very much. She lives in a three room apartment with the blinds permanently down. In her neighbour's yard three dogs roam and bark; she feeds them sliced bread through a window to keep them quiet.

Toni has had to cope with a number of difficulties in her life including the murder of her niece that took place at the Newburgh Free Academy five years ago. She puts her ability to cope down to being an orphan from the age of seven. "I grew up with just me. I grew up having to survive. Maybe where I recently got my strength was from my sister, after the murder of her daughter."

Toni, aged 17, when she replied to my request to take her picture, "Of course, the camera loves me."