FotoFest Exhibitions

Will Steacy

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Will Steacy’s Down These Mean Streets examines the fear and abandonment found in America’s inner cities, focusing on the neighborhoods that, in his words, “you wouldn’t want to be in; the parts of town you drive through, not to.” Photographing only at night with a large format view camera, Steacy works in a set routine, walking between the airport and central business district of each city he photographs. He believes that America has turned its back on cities, with years of neglect resulting in crumbling neighborhoods with no local economy, a public education system that barely meets requirements, a low income housing nightmare, few options for proper nutrition or health care, and an environment where drugs and violence reign, making basic survival the number one priority. In addressing the loss and despair that prevail in America’s urban communities, Steacy’s aim is to reveal a contemporary portrait of the inner city – as he has said himself, “Problems and issues cannot be solved if they are not first identified.”


Will Steacy is an American photographer and writer. He was born in 1980. Before becoming a photographer, he worked as a union laborer. His photographs have been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums across the country and are included in many private and public collections. In 2006, Steacy was named 25 Under 25: Up-and-Coming American Photographers by powerHouse Books and The Center for Documentary Studies. He is a recipient of the 2008 Tierney Fellowship and The Aperture New York City Green Cart Photography Commission for 2009 to 2001. His work has been featured on CNN, in Harper’s, Newsweek, New York Magazine, The Paris Review, among others, and published in various books. Steacy lives and works in New York.