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New York City...living in tunnels here

Visitors to the Paris catacombs, consulting the all-important map, 20 meters below the surface.

Our dispatch last month by Don Duncan,  who travelled underground to meet the eccentrics, artists and rowdy students who populate the Paris Catacombs got us thinking about the subterranean life.

And it turns out Paris isn't the only city with a history underground. In the 1990s, Dutch war photographer Teun Voeten encountered the "tunnel people" of New York, homeless people who'd discovered an underground network of railway tunnels and decided to make a life there.

So Voeten decided to see what that life was like. For five months in 1994 and 1995 he lived, slept and worked in a tunnel underneath Manhattan's Upper West Side. He describes his "roommates" as: "Vietnam veterans, macrobiotic hippies, crack addicts, Cuban refugees, convicted killers, computer programmers, philosophical recluses and criminal runaways."

Then in 1996 they were all evicted. Amtrak and others offered to help them find new places to live. All these years later, Voeten has gone back to New York to track down some of the "tunnel people"...and the result is a new, updated version of his book.

Read more about Tunnel People on Voeten's website.

He's giving a talk about the book at the Frontline Club in London on October 20th.

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