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We Used To Live At Night by Joseph M. Giordano (2021)
Photography Joseph M. Giordano

Cinematic photographs of Baltimore after dark

From secret sex parties to hip hop battles, Joseph M. Giordano’s We Used To Live At Night documents over two decades of the city’s lost nightlife in dramatic black and white

Inspired by the Brassai’s dramatic images of 1930s Parisian nightlife, the Baltimore-based photographer, Joseph M. Giordano, felt the desire to document his own hometown after dark. “Finding a copy of Paris de Nuit at a local bookshop while starting college in the mid-90s, I wanted to create a similar body of work for Baltimore,” he tells Dazed. “25 years later, I think I've come close.”

Roaming the city's streets, underground clubs, illicit sex parties, burlesque acts, boxing gyms, crime-scenes, back-alley venues, and city-limits warehouses, he captured the wild, fevered life of Baltimore at night  Moving through the city's diverse music scenes and sub-cultures, Giordano immortalised the heaving festivals, the open-mic hip hop nights, and the “text-only” pop-up raves, as well as haunting the down-at-heel steelworking district, capturing melancholy moments at closing time in the now-vanished country and western bars.

His extraordinary archive of images have now been collected together in We Used To Live At Night. With an introduction by Baltimore hip hop legend, DDM, Giordano’s striking, almost film-noir images memorialise the thriving world of the city at night. “Now, with COVID-19, the scene, as in other cities, is all but gone,” he says.

Below, take a look through some of the stunning photographs from We Used To Live At Night, selected by Joseph M. Giordano and accompanied by the photographer's recollections. 

We Used To Live At Night by Joseph M. Giordano is published by The Culture Crush and is available to pre-order here