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We the People: The Citizens of NYCHA in Photos + Words


We the People challenges and confronts misconceptions and stereotypes associated with African-American and Latino residents of New York City public housing.

The project, a collaboration between journalist Rico Washington and photographer Shino Yanagawa, paired photographs alongside candid interviews with residents. Inspired by the documentarian works of Jacob Riis, Gordon Parks, and Ruiko Yoshida, Washington and Yanagawa conducted interviews in various housing authority complexes across New York City’s five boroughs over a period of 18 months. We the People featured such notable NYCHA former residents as hip-hop artist/actor Yasiin Bey (formally known as Mos Def), jazz musician/recording artist Olu Dara, filmmaker Dennis Watlington, hop-hop icon Afrika Bambaataa, and many more.

The exhibition also included an essay by Jamel Shabazz, a Brooklyn-born fashion, fine art, and documentary photographer whose work has been exhibited at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, as well as featured in films and album covers.


Wednesday, October 01, 2014 - Sunday, March 08, 2015