CROWN HEIGHTS YOUTH COLLECTIVE
BROOKLYN VISIONARIES is a collaborative photographic and storytelling documentary project exploring the impact of local residents as harbingers of change.
It’s been a wonderful framing device to make my personal artistic obsessions accessible to so many people. I’d feel so proud if the fact that your average urban American teenager, has a tattoo and a pierced tongue is my fault.
What we created was a counter culture that forces the political system and other entities to reinterpret the way they talk about community development and people of color.
URBAN FARMER AND
URBAN FOOD JUSTICE EDUCATOR,
HATTIE CARTHAN COMMUNITY GARDEN
Brooklyn was an entry level location for young people, so reporters would end up living here. We started hearing from reporters who were trying to convince their editors that there were things going on here that they needed to cover. And eventually they started listening.
THE BROOKLYN PHOENIX
Brooklyn has a certain character.
You don’t want it to look like Manhattan.
Salman Rushdie came to Coney Island with his family. We had a great time. There was only one thing he wanted to do
go to Shoot the Freak and have a beer at Rubie’s.
CONEY ISLAND HISTORY PROJECT
How can we start to reinvent urban infrastructure to make those landscapes more productive — to make places that don’t flood, and have greater ecological productivity and diversity?
As a native Brooklynite, I was intrigued by how many people, in recent years, have asked me,
"What was it like .growing up here?"
While I played stoop ball with friends, adults in my parents generation were helping to revitalize cultural and educational institutions that had fallen on tough times.
Walking through our neighborhoods with plastic siding covering peeling brownstone exteriors, I carried pride that our homes represented a history that was beautiful, important, and would be revived. It was all a process, and I was proud to be apart of it.
New York City is starting to begin to stagnate
because we don’t have enough low and moderate-income housing. And it is becoming a much more segregated city. The economic disparities are growing. You had low families intermixed with middle income families. To me that’s a healthy community.
BROOKLYN CITY PLANNER,
I got a request to do bullets for Penn and Teller, for their show. So I called up TSA. And I learned the TSA doesn’t have a sense of humor when they told me it would have to be declared as dead ammunition.
I said, but it's chocolate!
SON OF A SON OF A CANDY MAKER,
With documentary interviews and photographs, I sought to capture the truth and wisdom shared in these interviews. With clarity, wit and insight, their words and images exemplify the light of living in Brooklyn.
One of the recommendations that
I first made was to add something
in the curriculum that talked
about citizenship and one’s
responsibility as a citizen. You
can’t wait till somebody’s ready
to vote. As a topic in social studies
young people get it in their head
that they’re a part of the society.
40TH DISTRICT, BROOKLYN
In this moment I think people
are more open to seeing that all
of our destinies are tied together.
The challenge is maintaining that.
Because you have to raise your
children with that level of
consciousness. Our diversity is
our strength. And to the extent
that we see a value in that,
Brooklyn will continue to thrive.
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
I just looked around and thought,
it’s kind of silly that given the
makeup of Brooklyn and the fact
it’s the fourth largest city on it’s
own in the country, and it doesn’t
have a real flea market.
CO-FOUNDER OF THE BROOKLYN FLEA
NYC COUNCILMEMBER, 40TH DISTRICT,
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
If you want to create a museum, do it. It may be the side of this room, but do it.
One of the recommendations that I first made was to add something in the curriculum that talked about citizenship and one’s responsibility as a citizen. You can’t wait till somebody’s ready to vote. As a topic in social studies young people get it in their head that they’re a part of the society.
In this moment I think people are more open to seeing that all of our destinies are tied together. The challenge is maintaining that. Because you have to raise your children with that level of consciousness. Our diversity is our strength. And to the extent that we see a value in that, Brooklyn will continue to thrive.
They were doing the main sewer and water line in front of my building. I started talking to those guys who were pulling out those big glacier boulders. I said I want them, can I have them? And they said sure, if you pick them up, they are yours. So I went out and bought a forklift. I filled up the place with boulders. Then there was a rainy day and I knew all the guys that operated the heavy equipment outside. I said come inside out of the rain, and have lunch. There were about six of them with their lunch boxes. And they each found a comfortable position against a boulder, in such a way that it reminded me of moments where
you walk in nature and want to rest. One sat on top of it, one sat on next to it, one lean against it. And it was so simple and unique that I knew exactly what I’m going to do.
I was filled up with great excitement and started this body of work.