Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
A passion for people who are underprivileged
While out on assignment the day before the provincial budget was presented a couple of weeks ago, I came across a familiar face. It was one of two protests that were taking place that afternoon on the front steps of the Manitoba Legislative Building. Anti-poverty demonstrators had gathered to give speeches and wave signs. When you go to the number of events we do as photojournalists you tend to see some of the same people fairly frequently. This guy always catches my eye; I always want to take his photo. This time I took the time to try to get to know him a little more.
I asked Isaac Dyck what he did for a living and what brought him to the demonstration that particular day.
"I'm a retired school teacher. I taught in the North End of Winnipeg for many years. So, I have a passion for people who are underprivileged, who experience oppression. Today we are reminded that there's a significant amount of poverty in our communities, in our community of Winnipeg in particular. We see this around us and we are reminded by the speakers and by the highlighting of this issue today that this needs to be addressed in a concrete way.
Have you ever experienced extreme poverty?
"I grew up in a poor household with eight kids and a limited income. I remember the Christmas Cheer Board dropping off a box of food and putting it in the middle of the floor and how excited we were there were toys in there. That was where my life began and I'm very fortunate that I'm a privileged white individual in this society because many people don't have that good fortune. So I was able to succeed and move out of that position."
If you could give some advice to a community of people, what would it be?
"It's time for our government representatives to recognize that the time for words has passed. The time for the nodding of the head has passed. That it's time for direct action to address the concerns around poverty."
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About Mike Deal
After freelancing for the Winnipeg Free Press for three years, starting in 1997, Mike Deal landed a part-time job as a night photodesk editor.
His first day in the new position was supposed to be September 12, 2001. But when he woke to the news of the two towers on September 11, he automatically headed into the newsroom.
For the next few years, he split his hours at the Winnipeg Free Press between photo editing and photography. In 2008, Mike was hired full-time as a photojournalist.
Mike’s training includes a journalism diploma from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary. He also spent time at the University of Manitoba, working at the Manitoban and the U of M photo club and taking fine art courses.
Having also just finished shooting a personal project that involved taking 2,013 portraits using just his iPhone in the year 2013, he looks forward to taking the portrait project concept to another level. He will NOT be shooting 2,014 in 2014! Don't be surprised if he stops you in the street and demands a moment of your time. You have been warned!
Another personal passion of his is street photography, capturing the people of Winnipeg amongst the beautiful architecture of its downtown.
In his off-hours Mike enjoys taking photos with his iPhone, walks in Assiniboine Forest, and spending his free time with his partner Ariel and daughter Anna.
"I go to the street for the education of my eye and for the sustenance that the eye needs - the hungry eye, and my eye is hungry." -Walker Evans
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