Curated by Nina Talbot, painter, in collaboration with Rachel
Bernstein, public historian at New York University, the exhibit
presents striking stories of Brooklyn residents through paintings, oral
histories, poetry and personal effects. These different modes of
expression offer multiple perspectives on this complex issue.
Visitors to the exhibit meet a range of people, including an Iranian
Jew with a jewelry shop in Newkirk Plaza; a Tuskegee Airman originally from the Caribbean whose mother worked as a servant for a family on Rugby Road; a phlebotomist from Dhaka, Bangladesh who lives in Midwood; a writer from Haiti with violent memories of the tonton macoute, now living peacefully in East Flatbush; a musician from Park Slope whose 96 year old mother remembers arriving in
New York from Hangzhou, China in 1938; a Pakistani Muslim woman living in West Midwood; and a woman who survived the Mauthausen concentration camp now living in Borough Park.
The exhibition features audio from oral history interviews with individuals in the paintings. Poet Esther Cohen has written poems based on the individual narratives that inspired the paintings. These elements, combined with photos, student interpretations, and objects add depth to the lessons these individual lives can teach about struggle, survival, success and heroism.
And in Time Out New York (Sept 16-22, 2010).
And now you can listen to stories from the exhibit and see their portraits on the BHS podcast available through iTunes!