Artist Uses Manholes to Spotlight Homelessness

An Italian artist is bringing attention to the problem of homelessness by decorating manholes.

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It doesn’t really matter if you live in New York City or rural Alabama, the problem of homelessness is undoubtedly prevalent. It is certainly more visible in bigger cities where there are a lot more people (and a lot more money to be made), but no matter where you are there are always people who are struggling, and people who can’t seem to stand on their own.

Italian artist Biancoshock is calling attention to this problem, by decorating the manholes in Milan like rooms of a house. The artist was inspired by the city of Bucharest, where people actually live in the sewers. In 2014, an investigation conducted by ABC News found that there was an entire generation who grew up in the sewers of the capital of Romania, most of whom came from orphanages closed in 1989 after the fall of Communism.

READ MORE: Homeless Man in Russia Becomes Famous Online

The series is called Borderlife, because people who live in the sewers are “always balancing on a thin line between right and wrong, between necessity and desire, between life and death,” Biancoshock writes. He calls his art a form of ‘urban activism’, and his manholes decorated to resemble comfortable rooms in a typical home are meant to provoke thought, and start a conversation about the fact that there are actual people, living in sewers.

Say what you will about street art or urban activism, but to me, using your art to effect change is the reason artists exist in the first place.

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By Gary
Gary is the gay guy that every girl wants to be, and every guy wants to be with (Mostly because he can't get pregnant). He is based in Manhattan, but loves traveling to exotic new people, and sleeping with interesting new places. He is an adventurous writer, digital artist, and game designer that will try almost anything if it makes a good story. --Instagram: @garyadrianrandall --Twitter: @gadrianrandall