A Neighborhood in Transition-Murals in Bedford-Stuyvesant
An exhibition of community murals throughout Bedford-Stuyvesant
by Elke Weesjes
Photographs by Tiffany Hagler-Geard
This exhibition, which combines image and text, was inspired by the book, Do Not Give Way to Evil: Photographs of the South Bronx, 1979. Through a number of essays and stunning photographs by Lisa Kahane, this book documents the devastation and rejuvenation of the South Bronx. Fascinated by the powerful combination of word and image, I wanted to do a similar project in my own neighborhood, Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Through images of murals in Bedford-Stuyvesant, this exhibition examines the transition of this infamous Brooklyn neighborhood. Visitors are taken on a historical and visual journey from Bed-Stuy's dark days characterized by poverty, racial tensions, violence and the slogan, "Do or Die Bed-Stuy," to a new dawn defined by restoration, community building and the brand new slogan: "Bed-Stuy and Proud of It!"
Elke Weesjes lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and has a PhD in contemporary history from the University of Sussex (UK). She is a research associate for Colorado State University's Center for Disaster and Risk Analysis. She specializes in cultural memory, history of political activism and neighborhood/community change in times of acute and chronic stress.
Tiffany Hagler-Geard is a Williamsburg-based photographer and has been shooting since 1995. Her images have been published on People.com, ABC News, in the New York Post, Life Magazine and other publications. Tiffany works as a photo editor at People.com and photographs for the Humane Society of New York.