The Digital Journalist
Greg Halpern Harvard Works Because We Do

When I asked Gary Newmark-the first person I interviewed and photographed for this project-if I could talk to him about what he did at work, his response was, "You want to know about regular working stiffs? You want to know what I do? I unloaded from a truck probably every book you ever read at Harvard. That's what I do." I immediately wanted to know more; and from the way he kept talking, it seemed clear he wanted me to know more.

There is a deliberate aura of wealth and power at Harvard, and it is tended to by over a thousand workers. Many of them are employed in positions like Gary's. They dust the portraits, prune the centuries-old trees, and polish the oak panels. They work in every room of every building, day and night, and yet one of their most frequent complaints is that the nation's "most perceptive" students and scholars simply do not see them.

In these photographs, I have tried to "see" my subjects and present them to others in what I hope is a matter-of-fact and respectful way. In doing this project, I came to feel that to respect another person is to acknowledge his or her complexity.