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Charles Coe

Poet, Boston artist-in-residence

Writer and artist Charles Coe worked on a community based story collection called “What You Don’t Know About Me” Charles collected stories from people who live and work in or near Boston’s Mission Hill. The project highlights some aspect of the storyteller’s life that might surprise someone meeting her or him for the first time. These stories are joined with photographs to produce a series of stand-alone photo essays in which the contrast between the story shared and the visual image challenge the viewer's preconceptions.

Boston AIR project

"What You Don't Know About Me" is a photo essay by Boston AIR Charles Coe. Charles's residency explored the cognitive dissonance that sometimes occurs after a conversation with a stranger.

Portraits accompanied by interviews allow viewers to know more about their neighbors, reminding us all that we're complex and variegated individuals with rich and unexpected narratives. Charles met with community members, diligently collecting their stories to unearth community gems.

Throughout his residency, he learned that often the most interesting people don't know that they're interesting. For Charles, it is the role of the artist to help unseen stories find light and to ensure that unheard voices are raised.

View the portraits:

Ena Fox

Itsuo Kiritani

Elizabeth Kiritani Whitin

Gino Provenzano