Documentary Landscape | Kwasi Boyd-Bouldin
Nothing: Mid-City Los Angeles

I knew right after I published my first photo essay on Mid-City (Secret Monuments) that I would have to revisit the area. It occupies such a large space in my mind that I felt that first essay would ultimately serve as nothing more than an introduction, a tiny view into one of the most overlooked parts of the city. Not as prosperous as Miracle Mile nor as notorious as South L.A., Mid-City exudes a deceptive sense of nothingness that is remarkable when you consider that it is literally in the middle of world’s most famous cities.

The combination of industrial spaces and residential streets dominate the landscape, making the streets seem more deserted than they actually are. As a child, Mid-City is where I discovered my sense of adventure. I explored the empty lots and backstreets on my skateboard, venturing far beyond the block I lived on. The emptiness became a world onto which I could project my own compositions, a process which became one of the cornerstones of my creativity.

This essay, Nothing, refers to the anonymity that defines Mid-City. Most people who live in LA have no idea it exists, let alone those beyond the city’s borders. In stark contrast to the perpetual state of development that Miracle Mile (which lies just to the north) is experiencing, Mid-City remains frozen in time.