The Department of Corrections is in charge of the City Cemetery, known as Potter’s Field, on Hart Island, the Bronx, New York, in Long Island Sound. It can only be reached by ferry boat. It is not open to the public. It is difficult to get access to this place where the homeless, unclaimed bodies, and bodies of children are buried in common graves. Claire Yaffa spent one year, calling every day until she was finally permitted to go. Because of her photographic essays on child abuse, the homeless and children with AIDS, she had read about this place and wanted to see it for herself. Says Yaffa, “I spent my time there in awe and sadness to see what for some was the end of their life’s journey.”
There is a new web site, created by Melinda Hunt if you want to know more about Potter’s Field. It can be found at www.hartisland.com.