Mike Brodie hopped a freight train to Jacksonville when he was seventeen. He had with him a Polaroid camera, and not a lot else. Ten years on and 50,000 miles later, Brodie has taken over 7,000 images (mostly 35mm) of his life riding the trains and sometimes the roads, photographing his fellow travellers as they criss-cross America. A small selection of these images are presented in a fine book published by Twin Palms entitled, A Period of Juvenile Prosperity. 

Brodie’s photographs are of itinerant life - guys and girls clambering into box cars, swinging between carriages, foraging for food, ducking the cops and dossing down. Sporting tattoos and jewellery, in dirty thrift store clothes and scavenged finds, they live with the wind in their hair and the tracks beneath their feet.

He found the Polaroid camera on the back seat of a friend’s car, and from his first shot

This article appeared in 183 on April 2013. Buy here

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