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Documenting The Stories Of 50 NYCHA Residents


Two former residents of housing projects have turned their attention back to their roots, embarking on a yearlong project to capture life in what they see as much-stigmatized NYCHA complexes?enclaves they call "a city within a city." Now 50 profiles of public housing residents by Rico Washington and Shino Yanagawa are being exhibited in the South Bronx, giving a bit of insight into these ubiquitous urban communities to which few outsiders are privy.

In their series, "We The People," Washington and Yanagawa took inspiration from notable documentarians of urban realities like Jacob Riis and Gordon Parks, with the aim to create "a testament to those who have weathered storms from urban blight to urban renewal." The two photographed and interviewed residents in all five boroughs, in low-income housing developments from Frederick Douglass and Marcus Garvey houses to Bethune Gardens.

Two short video trailers give a hint of what the exhibition holds, including vignettes of those profiled and snapshots of their at-home environs. The authors hope to turn the profiles into a book, but for now, see another side of the city at the Gordon Parks Gallery, located near 149th Street-Grand Concourse. The show runs until May 5.
· Official site: "We The People: The Citizens of NYCHA in Pictures + Words" [debunkthemyth.org]