Nadia Shira Cohen

About me



  • B>Gallery, January 2009Rome, Italy
  • Centro Italiano Della Fotografia D’autore, April 2009Bibbiena, Italy,
  • Galleria Fiaf, February 2009Torino, Italy
  • Festival Foiano, October 2009 Italy



Oniontown is like an onion, a reality revealed in layers, a community with many facets. We only reach its core through perseverance. Oniontown is not thought of as a nice place to go. Stigmatized by stories of inbred families, “No Trespassers” signs line the entrance and locals keep away for fear of being shot. Located at the end of a dead-end street, in duchess county, not far from New York City’s lights of modernity, this little community of 7 trailer homes, all inhabited by the same extended family sits as a microcosm of its surrounding world. Although some of the families subsist on welfare and disability checks, they live autonomously from the surrounding community and survive off of their own land, hunting deer in the neighboring woods and breeding animals such as pigeons and swine. Many of the children live in broken homes, some with incarcerated parents, others who were abused, with Oniontown as their last stop. The children capture love where they can find it. Despite this, there is a sense of familial love and responsibility to protect and look after one another. It’s a community built on fragile walls and remains of discarded dolls, televisions, and motorcycles, all of which hold the pains and joys of the past. The layers of Oniontown reveal a complex society under imaginary notes of a carillon out of tune, the memory of an amusement park already old and forgotten.

Oniontown (1 of 30)
Built by Emiliano Pallini