My series of photographs and oral histories from the Bushwick-Linden community garden is moving to the Gulf + Western Gallery at Tisch. Running October 16th - November 29 2014
Brownstone Bushwick documents the block activities of the largely Afro-Caribbean community who reside in turn of the century brownstone homes on the block of Linden street between Broadway and Bushwick Avenues in Brooklyn, NY. Since the mid 20th century, Bushwick has struggled in adapting to the crippling efforts by real estate speculators, mortgage brokers, banks and insurance companies in redlining their streets, and the “benign neglect” and “planned shrinkage” by local government. One of the strongest engines of community building for the Linden street block has proven to be the planting of trees and other nature, which has signaled, like flares, a call for collaborative neighborhood improvement to battle the onslaught of urban blight that engulfed much of the neighborhood around them. The Linden-Bushwick community garden has grown, since 1974, to host over twenty vegetable garden plots and provide nutritious sustenance for residents of the area. Using photography and oral history collection as methods of inquiry, “Brownstone Bushwick” builds a record of the efforts by resident individuals who have worked with nature to build a neighborhood deemed safe and attractive enough for its newcomers to gentrify. Homeownership, differences in lifestyle aspirations, nationality, race and gender, have all played a role in creating a diverse collection of Linden street histories. What unites these neighbors’ reflections on their time spent on the block, however, is a sense of shared pride, resilience, and empowerment that they have collaboratively built and find today in their dignified urban environment.