David Chatfield, Artist
David Chatfield

Where Are They Now? (WIP)
From the Great Depression to the Gig Economy

Gig #2 Gig #3 Gig #4 Gig #5 Gig #6





The Where Are They Now project was inspired by news coverage of the Great Recession of ’08, where it was qualified as the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. Yet no report related the two events beyond superficial economic analysis. The Investor class gambled, and lost; the poor, working poor, and middle class suffered the consequences. I kept thinking, sure, there are some similarities and yet the Gig Economy is vastly different. What are the differences? Would solutions like the New Deal work in our today's economy? 

More than 10 years have passed since ’08 and yet my questions persist. Though we recovered from the Great Recession, the problems illuminated by the crisis still affect the working poor even in "good" economic times. And we seem to have an economic crisis every 10 years or so, the most recent brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

So I simply asked, where would individuals most impacted by the Great Depression be in the Gig Economy? Where does the working poor work? Where does the working poor eat? And who, if anyone, is the modern equivalent of the Hobo?

I mined images from the Great Depression and began to imagine the answers. The first image I came upon was Dorthea Lange's Migrant Mother. And a Walmart Jersey fit almost too perfectly.
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