He is fearless in his portrayal of the ones on the outer edge of society. The 80s in New York were a time of discovery, survival and transition, not only for photographer Miron Zownir, but also for the subjects he photographed. Sex workers, drug addicts, and the losers “who fought against all odds,” their emotions, fragility and strength are captured in his new book NYC RIP. New York is not the city that once was, but Miron recounts to us what compelled him to the outskirts of society and within.
What compelled you to photograph and document this particular scene?
Well as I mentioned above it was this common feeling of being on the edge, anti- establishment, anti-authority, suspicious of any government, almost lawless. Many of those people who went too far were down and out or defeated but whatever was left of them fascinated me. Many of those tried an alternative lifestyle and failed. But what’s more impressive and tragic than a loser who fought against all odds?
Finally how do you feel about NYC RIP. What does it mean to you, to have these photographs bound together?
It’s like a diary of a time and place that will always be special to me. And it is a documentary of a place that radically changed. I think I covered the Zeitgeist of NYC in the 80’s at the “zenith of its mania (Lydia Lunch)” as free, wild and raw like nobody else.