The lie you tell yourself
For the book “The Drake”, Tamara Reynolds takes the name of an old hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, and spends four years with the people living with addiction on its block.
“I’ve been sober since 2002, and I recognized the despair, the lie you tell yourself that keeps you in the cycle of addiction,” says Tamara Reynolds talking about what drove her to spend time at The Drake, a hotel symbolising her native Nashville old glory days. Initially meaning to work on the city’s gentrification, she discovered people “existing just above survival” on a main road.
The photographer tried to create a body of work that could show the humanity of people living with addiction, while letting the viewer sit with the ambiguities and complex feelings stirred by some of the images. She would also share the photographs and the progress of the book with the people she portrayed. “The specificity of the subject allowed me to delve deeply into a world that was far removed from my own life yet perilously close had I not found recovery. ”