Kensington Avenue is a hot spot for drugs and prostitution located in North Philadelphia. Populated by cheap bars, pawnshops, and check cashing businesses, the Avenue is also the major business corridor in the neighborhood. An elevated train runs the full length of Kensington Avenue, approximately 3 miles into the far North East of the city. The massive steel structure acts as a shelter, attracting the residents of Kensington as they battle to survive.
Kensington Blues is not just another dip-your-toe-in-poverty photo project; Stockbridge has spent considerable time befriending many of his subjects. He gives them dignity, and with his designated website Kensington Blues, Stockbridge – through audio and transcription – gives each subject a voice.
I am quickly coming to value any photographer’s approach that, above all else, connects the subject to the photographer … and thus the subject to ourselves. Stockbridge’s Kensington Blues pays that attention to human connection.