As North American cities continue to grow and downtown cores evolve into suburban shadows of their former urban selves, the shabbier realities of contemporary life at the city’s heart are forced to migrate and disappear as “villages” are torn down, reimagined and redeveloped into upscale properties.
With a gentle touch, George Webber takes his camera into the mysterious half-light of these disappearing interior spaces, penetrating them with a thought-provoking humanity and then withdrawing without creating a ripple. This is an area that transcends place, lying between a city’s mountain and prairie landscapes, a purgatory of dark and light, hope and despair.
Over a five-year period between 2004 and 2009, photographer George Webber hung out in Calgary’s East Village. In what he describes as “my little personal battle against time,” he touched the feral heart of the place, capturing its gritty, shattered beauty with his camera.
Last Call is an unforgettable and astounding collection of colour photographs of Calgary’s East Village in all of its lurid glory, along with touching and poignant excerpts from Webber’s journals.