Tag Archives: Gentrification

Feria de Libros in Lima

The same Feria de Libros that I blogged about last year came to Lima a couple of weeks ago as part of the ongoing Photography Biennial. The feria, which is run by Argentine artist Julieta Escardó, features small, independently published books, mostly from photographers in Argentina, although this edition included several books by Peruvian photographers.

Feria de Libros in Lima

Feria de Libros in Lima

The fair was held at the Centro de la Imagen. Unlike the version in Buenos Aires, here, none of the books were for sale. It was a bit like an Alexandrian library only, instead of copying scrolls of papayrus, I sat there with my digital camera snapping photos of pages from books that I liked.

Here’s a few:

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde was my favorite book. It documents various decaying buildings from the 19th century and before in Lima’s historic core.

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Epitafios by Gladys Alavardo Jourde

Something that I find interesting about both Lima and Buenos Aires is that each, with over a third of their respective countrys’ population, dominate all aspects industry, culture, politics and finance. It’s like each city is New York, Detroit, Los Angeles, and Washington all rolled into one. Depending on where you go  you can find elements that resonate with each. In the case of Lima, new development has shunned the historic core and a bounce-back wave of gentrification has yet to occur. In this situation, there’s a huge number of historic buildings which sit in a rather shabby state. Alvarado’s book does an execellent job of documenting both the beauty of these spaces, their inhabitants, and the tragedy of their decay. Also, the book dummy on view was really wonderfully printed. I hope it gets published.

Lucila Heinberg’s (Argentina) book Hacia recounts her journey in through China. Using expired film, the photos show a very personal, intimate view of her experiences in China.

Lucila Heinberg – Hacia

Lucila Heinberg – Hacia

Lucila Heinberg – Hacia

Lucila Heinberg – Hacia

Galeria Centrico has a small online gallery of this work. I also blogged about Heinberg’s series Dormidos last year.

David Mansell-Moullin’s book Lines in the Sand looks at peripheral settlements in Lima and how they sit on the landscape.

David Mansell-Moullin – Lines in the Sand

David Mansell-Moullin – Lines in the Sand

The subject matter is similar to Musuk Note’s Decierto series which I blogged about recently but is less abstract, more into the nuts and bolts of how these plots of land get developed by their inhabitants. Mansell-Moullin’s website has a nice slideshow of the work and he’s also got a blog detailing a lot of his work process.

Futuramic by Aldo Paparella (great name!) features lucious black and white photographs of retro-futuristic automobiles from the 1950s.

Aldo Paparella – Futuramic

Aldo Paparella – Futuramic

I got really excited to see that Martin Weber’s Ecos del Interior has been published by Ediciones Lariviere. I hope this makes it to the US so I can get a copy.

Martin Weber – Ecos del Interior

Italian photojournalist Myriam Meloni has a book, Fragil, documenting the social decay resulting from paco use in Buenos Aires (paco is their version of crack).

Myriam Meloni – Fragil

Myriam Meloni – Fragil

Myriam Meloni – Fragil

There sems to be a whole sub-genre of photographers documenting their grandparent’s homes. I suppose the combination of nostalgia + access is irrisistible. By my count, there were four books dealing with this theme at the book fair, the nicest of which was Bulnes by Luciana Betesh.

Luciana Betesh – Bulnes

Luciana Betesh – Bulnes

Luciana Betesh – Bulnes

There were a ton more books, of course. It’s a great fair and my only complaint is that it isn’t held more often and in more places.

Brownsville: Inside One of Brooklyn’s Most Dangerous Neighborhoods

Brownsville, located in east Brooklyn, has long been one of New York City’s most dangerous neighborhoods. But even as crime rates reached record lows in the borough in 2009, violence has continued to increase in Brownsville, which has remained untouched by the gentrification seen in so many other parts of Brooklyn. Inspired by the rapid changes in his own neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Reed Young began researching places that hadn’t seen such gentrification over the last few decades. “I always tried to kind of stay away from New York stories just because I think it’s so easy to do a personal story in New York if you live here,” the Brooklyn-based photographer says. “But once I started doing research, I found out that Brownsville has similar crime rates to a place like East New York, but is almost a third of its size. Brownsville is one square mile of public housing, basically.”

In May 2011, Young and a friend, who does social work, spent two weeks photographing various community members in Brownsville, from gang members to a UPS driver who has to deliver packages with a police officer because he was held up at gunpoint. But before beginning to shoot, Young and his friend first met with Greg Jackson, who runs a recreation center in the neighborhood, after reading an article about him in the New York Times. “We asked if it was cool to just walk around and kind of talk to people to get a feeling of the neighborhood,” Young says. “And he said, ‘Hell no. You’ve got to be kidding.” In the same breath, Jackson called a Brownsville resident named Randy, who eventually led Young and his friend around the neighborhood for the project.

Though some people tried to rough up Young and his friend over the two weeks, the photo shoots were, for the most part, hassle-free. The most intense moment from the project took place when Young photographed a gang member and his mother in their doorway. “That was the most tension I’ve ever felt doing a photo shoot,” Young says. “Because he was head of the gang, all of his people were around, and it was on this block that’s really, really, really tough.”

Young walked away from the project seeing Brownsville divided between the good and the bad, with little in the middle. “There’s a saying in Brownsville that says if you’re 25, you’re either dead, or in jail or you’re done with the gang life,” he says. “You’re one of the three because you can’t be much older and be out of that category.” The photographer hasn’t returned to Brownsville since shooting the series, though he hopes to in the future. “I want to go and do a follow up and even talk to a lot of the same people,” he says. “But I wonder if it’s too early yet. Change happens really slowly there.”

Reed Young is a Brooklyn-based photographer. See more of his work here

Feifei Sun is an associate editor at TIME. Follow her on Twitter at @feifei_sun.

David Strohl

David Strohl received his undergraduate degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. After graduation he returned to his hometown of Austin, Texas, to work as a freelance commercial and editorial photographer. But as what so often times happens when your passion is made into a business, the flame goes out. With this realization, David decided to return to SCAD and work on an MFA to be completed in the near future. This return to his photographic roots has re-ignited that flame and his love of the photographic medium.

David has created a number of series, several about Savannah, including his most recent, Qualifies for a Dreammaker. The project explores the impoverished east side of Savannah with a compassionate eye and an abililty to see beauty in the a place and people often overlooked.

Acting in the role of the flaneur (one who walks the city in order to experience it), I have walked the neighborhoods of Eastside Savannah, GA, using photography as a tool to understand the story of the area. Through repeated exploration, I have discovered a rich tapestry of cultural heritage — the people, the details, and the landscape itself have become a deep and interwoven narrative.

While many residents of the Greater Savannah area write off the Eastside as a blighted and impoverished cluster of neighborhoods, I have instead discovered an often times beautiful area that is burgeoning with the potential for positive and inclusive progress.

This body of work has become not only a series of personal connections in my quest to comprehend the community, it has also become a historical record of the neighborhood as it is before impending gentrification and revitalization. The act of photographing has gotten me involved in the day-to-day of the area, and has resulted in my own integration into the community. My hope is that these photographs will illustrate to the residents that community awareness and involvement is essential in maintaining the neighborhood’s inherent culture.