I sat in Union Square and as the afternoon drew on I became aware of a group of teenagers who were hanging out, being noisy, having fun. I asked if I could photograph them, they said I could and during the next four days I spent every afternoon and evening with these teenagers, hanging out with them and taking photos. They told me their stories; some had difficult home lives, some lived in rough neighbourhoods, some lived in care. Whatever their situation, Union Square provided a refuge from their lives and, after school, one by one each of them had started hanging out there to avoid going home.
Over the week I spent photographing them I became increasingly interested in capturing the moments of emotion, feeling and communication that happen amongst groups of teens hanging out. Young people who are no longer children but not yet adults; childish but grown up, confident but vulnerable, bored one minute and squealing with laughter the next, a sexual tension between them that they explored in hidden looks and over the top gestures, a desire to make their own mark on the world, together as a group but always, at the end of the night, returning home alone.
Work created on a Magnum Photography workshop tutored by Alessandra Sanguinetti