Do you recognize a superhero when you look one in the face? Do you think such men and women truly exist? If not, then look. And think again.
Indeed, there is a real subculture of genuine heroes, that bridge the gap between the fantastic and the practical. Anonymous and selfless, they choose every day, to make a difference in the world around them. Whether it be feeding the hungry, comforting the sick, or cleaning up their neighborhoods, they save real lives in very real ways. These are not “kooks in costumes,” as they may seem at first glance. They are, simply put, a radical response… to a radical problem.
So who are these modern day heroes? They are our neighbors, our friends, our family members. They are artists, musicians, athletes, and yes, politicians. Their actions serve as reminders that as most giving today has become reactive—digital and removed, temporarily soothing our guilt and feelings of helplessness—we have blinded ourselves to simple principles and practice of compassion and goodwill.
Photographer Peter Tangen has earned the trust of this loose network, to visually document the genuine power of these individuals—and in the process, reveal the soul behind their endeavor.
At first, The Real Life Superhero Project was conceived as an avenue to shine some light on this new breed of activism and altruism, through a photographic installation to benefit the established organizations the superheroes believe in. But as more people were brought into the wholly volunteer project, largely through Tangen’s infectious enthusiasm, the scope and purpose expanded exponentially.
Now, what began as a gallery exhibit, has come to serve as the launching pad of something far greater—a living, breathing community that inspires people to become the positive forces for change we all can be. To become more active, more involved, more committed, and perhaps, a little super in the process.
The website you have arrived at is your starting point. Look around, learn, absorb and ultimately, act. Here you’ll find continually evolving content, offering fresh insights into the superheroes themselves and opportunities for you to become involved, as well as news about the project and its progress. And hopefully, you will come to realize that it doesn’t take a cape to go out and help someone, just the desire to become an active force in your own life, and see how that can affect others.
Through The Real Life Superhero Project, Tangen asks you, the viewer to embrace the intention of the heroes, to take a moment to discover the morality and conscience behind their actions, and ultimately, make the commitment to making a difference yourself.
Celebrate and honor them. And find the hero in all of us.