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Portraits from "Crackland"
August 6, 2019
by Bruce Gilden
With motivation coming from personal family experiences, Bruce Gilden began photographing drug addicted women in 2015. These portraits have all been taken on the streets of notorious neighborhoods where drugs can be found and money earned to support the subjects’ habits.
Gilden’s 2018 book “Only God Can Judge Me” is dedicated to women he photographed over the span of three years in Miami. Earlier this year he visited Philadelphia’s notorious Kensington neighborhood and more recently, traveled to Sao Paolo’s “Cracolândia” (Crackland).

Located near Sao Paolo’s busiest train station, Luz, drugs can easily be bought and consumed in Crackland. Despite attempts to redevelop the area and dissipate the concentration of drug users, prostitutes, and homeless people, dealers and addicts still flock to these streets.

Though far from Miami and Philadelphia, the stories and experiences of Crackland’s addicts are variations of the same tragic consequences.

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