Teun Voeten Author- TUNNEL PEOPLE


by Teun Voeten

“Teun Voeten has found yet another frontier in the great American experiment … the one underground, in the tunnels of Manhattan … and delivered it to us in an utterly charming and fascinating account.  Part anthropologist and part journalist, Voeten dwells in an unknown world that most of us simply pass by in a hurry.  To fully know America, one must follow Voeten into her depths.  There is much there to admire and, yes, to learn from.”- Sebastian Junger, war reporter and author of THE PERFECT STORM

“Voeten is no doubt one of the most adventurous reporters in the Netherlands.”- Vrij Nederland

“Voeten resists the temptation to sensationalize and romanticize the underground tunnel people.  Nor is his book sentimental … it is  sober and well-written report about the mean misery underground.  That is what makes this book so powerful.”- Volkskrant

“TUNNEL PEOPLE is a supreme example of participatory observation.  The insider’s point of view comes to full light in a brilliant way.  It is not an objective case study, but a subjective, journalistic reportage of a dynamic human underworld.”- Passage

At the end of the millennium, thousands of homeless people roamed the streets of Manhattan.  A small group of them went underground.  Invisible to society, they managed to start a new life in the tunnel.

Acclaimed war photographer and cultural anthropologist Teun Voeten gained unprecedented access to this netherworld.  For five months in 1994 and 1995 he lived, slept, and worked in the tunnel.  With him, we meet Vietnam veterans, macrobiotic hippies, crack addicts, Cuban refugees, convicted killers, computer programmers, philosophical recluses, and criminal runaways.  Voeten describes their daily work, problems, and pleasures with humor and compassion.  He also witnessed the end of tunnel life.  The tunnel people were evicted in 1996, but Amtrak and homeless organizations offered them alternative housing.

Some succeeded in starting again above ground, while others failed.  In this updated version of the book, Voeten tracks down the original tunnel dwellers and describes what happened in the 13 years since they left the tunnels


Teun Voeten is an award-winning photojournalist and author.  He has worked covering the conflicts in former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sudan, Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza.  His work has been published in VANITY FAIR, NEWSWEEK, THE NEW YORKER, and NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, among others.  Voeten is a contributing photographer for organizations such as the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, Human rights Watch, and the United Nations.

978-1-60486-070-2   $24.95  6×9  Paperback

PM Press  PO Box 23912    Oakland, CA 94623


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