A structure’s foundation can’t be seen from outside but no building can stand without one. This concept can be applied to entire cities and is especially true of Los Angeles. The bright, decadent, and inconsequential images associated with the city that dominate pop culture distract from the reality beneath the surface.
Life here doesn’t fit neatly into the narrative America tells about itself. It’s difficult for many to reconcile L.A.’s vibrant cultural landscape with the monochrome history this country is accustomed to discussing. The complex ways that different communities intersect and coexist here is not a naive exercise in constructed diversity but the result of decades of shared history.
The untold stories of the neighborhoods and the people in them are the foundation of Los Angeles. Closely examining these seemingly insignificant daily interactions helps to illuminate the larger picture. Traditions from around the world are absorbed and augmented, adding to the legacy of a city that’s a sum of those who call it home.
Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin is a Los Angeles based photographer whose work focuses on documenting life in the urban environment.