Tuesday, June 30, 2015

These are the people who live in Walmart parking lots

There are 4,135 Walmarts in America. Some are near urban centers, but, like Pitbull came to learn all too intimately, many are scattered throughout the amber waves of grain and the purple mountain majesties of America.

These are the people who live in Walmart parking lots

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There are 4,135 Walmarts in America. Some are near urban centers, but, like Pitbull came to learn all too intimately, many are scattered throughout the amber waves of grain and the purple mountain majesties of America.

One such place is Flagstaff, Arizona, where a subculture of American nomads have made a habit of riding out their summers living out of RVs in Walmart parking lots.

Photographer Nolan Conway spent his summer creating a series of portraits of the different walks of people who momentarily or semi-permanently call the Walmart parking lots home.

The two separate Walmart parking lots in Flagstaff, Arizona are specifically known for their long-term residents, and this past summer photographer Nolan Conway spent several days making a series of portraits of both the overnighters and the people who call these asphalt grids a temporary home.

“Flagstaff is the one place in Arizona where it’s not too hot in the summer and a lot of people who live in their cars or RVs stay there,” he says.

Conway’s portraits capture a broad and varied slice of America. He photographed people like Leroy Morris, who parks his RV in one of the Walmart parking lots every summer. Morris is a retiree who lives off Social Security with his dog Maggie as his only companion, but he says his years on the road have been the best of his life.

Conway spoke of the sense of community shared by the people at the Flagstaff locations. He said that he had previously tried to create a similar series of portraits in other cities, but was usually turned away.

Check out his series of portraits over at Wired.

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