Arts, Culture & Media

These shopkeepers are guardians of their own 'urban temples'

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Credit:

From "The Guardians" by Vladimir Antaki

Photographer Vladimir Antaki travels the world capturing shopkeepers in their shops for his series, "The Guardians."

Antaki's portraits don't just reflect the symbiotic relationship between keeper and shop. They bring order to environments that often feel chaotic, revealing patterns in all those bold colors and textures. Rows of candy and pawn shop trinkets become mosaics.

The French photographer, who now makes his home in Canada, says he's traveled to nine cities so far and met around 250 "guardians" (not all have agreed to be photographed). He worries these neighborhood institutions will soon disappear.

"People pay less and less attention to their environment," Antaki says. "They are always in a hurry, they don't take the time to spend time with one another. Unfortunately, these places will one day no longer be around."

Check out more of "The Guardians" series. Antaki is working on a travelling exhibition for this fall and looking for sponsors and host cities

Sideshow is a new podcast and blog from Sean Rameswaram of PRI's Studio 360. It's part of Soundworks from PRI.

  • shops5.jpg

    Credit:

    From "The Guardians" by Vladimir Antaki

  • shops4.jpg

    Credit:

    From "The Guardians" by Vladimir Antaki

  • shops2.jpg

    Credit:

    From "The Guardians" by Vladimir Antaki

  • shops6.jpg

    Credit:

    From "The Guardians" by Vladimir Antaki

  • shops3.jpg

    Credit:

    From "The Guardians" by Vladimir Antaki

  • shops7.jpg

    Credit:

    From "The Guardians" by Vladimir Antaki