Life in an ‘urban millennium’

Story highlights

Photographer Bas Losekoot is fascinated by city life and its people

He took photos in major cities across the world to study how its residents interact

In 2007, a U.N. report said 3.3 billion people live in cities -- 3% of the world's surface

CNN  — 

Take one look at these images and you experience a range of city-life emotions.

You feel the noonday sun beating down on your back, surging waves of people on every side of you. You sip your overpriced beverage and stare into the distance for a reprieve from the crowds and from a morning spent on your feet.

You see long shadows and you hear the quiet: the exhale of a city that’s been running hard and long all day – the settling down, the withdrawal of vendors and businessmen and every sort of tradesmen in between.

Dutch photographer Bas Losekoot is interested in these interactions, and by isolating them he examines “the mask that people are wearing on the streets, and things like the gaze – who’s looking at who?

“What do these small gestures on the street tell us about the human condition?” Losekoot asked. “How do people feel and how do people respond to (each other)?”

urban streets headshot

Losekoot was trained as a classical photographer and spent time after graduation shooting stills on film sets. Influenced by the lighting techniques from the cinema, he had the idea: “Why not bring the light to the streets?”

“After that,” he said, “the street became a studio and the people became the actors.”

He started in New York three years ago when he had this idea.

“I was fascinated by this theme of the ‘urban millennium,’ ” he said. “What’s going to happen when cities get more busy and people have to live in a smaller space?”

The urban millennium references the announcement, made by the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs in 2007, that “more people (are) living in cities than in rural areas: 3.3 billion people (are) on three percent of the earth’s surface.”