Best of Brownsville Photo Project
Three photo display kiosks located under the elevated line on Livonia showcase images from the public curated by local youth over an 11 month installation to display the best qualities of Brownsville.
The Best of Brownsville Photo Project is an outdoor photo gallery located under the Livonia Avenue elevated train which aims to improve resident, pedestrian and commuter experience on this busy street corner where both subway and bus lines intersect.
Working with youth that have touched the criminal justice program in projects promoting positive visible change in their communities, the Brownsville Community Justice Center (BCJC) and Brownsville Partnership is collaborating on The Best of Brownsville Photo Project to build a visually uplifting experience that brings attention to the best qualities of Brownsville.
This installation is a realization from two insights captured during placemaking workshops with the BCJC youth cohorts. First, when seeking out the most uplifting moments in public space, our gaze is toward the sky, and the changing light of the day produces a feeling of optimism and positive change. Second, that the 3 train is a conduit for most Brownsville residents, but the best the neighborhood has to offer isn’t always visible or seen by these travelers.
The Best of Brownsville Photo Project combines these insights three photo display kiosks will feature curated images from the public by various BCJC youth over a 11 month installation. The kiosks will have lighting to provide visibility at night and flexible surfaces to allow further engagement from the community to write messages and exchange information.
With your support to realize this project, The Best of Brownsville Photo Project will be an outdoor gallery that involves the whole community in changing the narrative of violence and disenfranchisement by showcasing the positive qualities of Brownsville and improving public space.
Brownsville Community Justice Center, BCJC and Brownsville Partnership are both essential nodes in the operation network of collective impact organizations in Brownsville. By leveraging these existing relationships we will be able to quickly and easily engage with leaders, schools, and residents within this neighborhood.
The Best of Brownsville Photo Project aims to reflect the diverse needs of the community through a rigorous participatory process.
Organizations will be invited to collaborate on the theme selection for each kiosk. This highlights their intersectional work in the community. By situating ourselves in three different locations under the elevated, we can localize the themes based on existing neighborhood assets.
Image curation will be executed by youth through the BCJC program. Youth will evaluate images submitted by the public, and taken themselves, to create a cohesive story that fits within that theme.
Citing authorship allows residents and leaders be visible as contributors to the same collection of images.
A social media campaign invites businesses to be involved in promoting the open call for photos, making our kiosks a highly desirable place to be noticed.
BCJC engages over 500 young people yearly. Currently in place are two cohorts of young people. The Media Intensive cohort focuses on self authorship by looking, documenting and assembling narratives using all forms of media (video, sound, writing), and building from this work to define the features of positive place making interventions. The Best of Brownsville Photo Project is the first placemaking idea to emerge from this intenstive. Brownsville Builders is a Youth Advisory Board whose mission is to creatively think of ways to redesign space that affects young people who are disconnected or on the verge of disconnection.
Katie Edmonds, Design Strategist, Youth Design Educator at BJCJ
Ionna Jimenez, Program Coordinator, BCJC
Layman Lee, Placemaking Manager, Brownsville Partnership
why we’re doing it
Brownsville Community Justice Center and Brownsville Partnership are neighborhood partners working together to harness our collective expertise to plan and execute strategic placemaking activities in Brownsville, Brooklyn in order to:
- Improve health of neighborhood residents
- Increase public safety/reduce crime
- Involve neighborhood youth in skills building and prosocial behavior
- Build on existing physical, human and cultural resources
- Improve public infrastructure and increase connectivity across housing super blocks
- Increase visibility of positive resident activities and tap into residents’ sense of pride in place
We want to use these location of high traffic to inspire active participation in visualizing positive change in Brownsville.
The project runs in monthly iterations of open call for images, curation of images, and the installation of the images in the space.