Presented with Union Docs
What makes a neighborhood? How do you gain a deeper understanding of a place?
You hang out! That’s what documentary filmmaker Diego Echeverria did when he made Los Sures in 1984. Echeverria chronicled the streets of Williamsburg’s Southside meeting people, being seen, building trust, and hanging out in a neighborhood that was then called one of the worst ghettos in the U.S.. UnionDocs, a Center for Documentary Art has also been hanging out on the Southside for many years. By obsessively exploring every aspect of Los Sures and documenting the longstanding Latino community as they fight displacement, UnionDocs has produced a multi-faceted project of their own, Living Los Sures.
Using the 1984 film and this impressive body of new work as points of departure, we have organized a roaming celebration of local experiences across the barrio of Los Sures. Come immerse yourself in street life then and now.
The event features the premiere of Tamara Gayer‘s “This is the Southside,” a site-specific artwork which will highlight the Southside. Collaborating with local shopkeepers Gayer has asked each one to add a specific message to the LED signs that adorn their storefronts. Visitors and residents making their way through the neighborhood might start to unravel a pattern in the messages, and unconsciously trace the Southside, walking from sign to sign. The local signs will be bookended by two of Gayer’s own LED signs, one at Sternberg Park and one at UnionDocs, which will compile the various messages and add some new ones. Visit these two locations to receive a surprise artwork designed by Gayer.
Get Legit: A roaming celebration of street life and neighborhood space
3pm – 6pm
Marcy J/M, Bedford Avenue L, Metropolitan Avenue G
Union Docs, 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn (visit vanalen.org for more details))
Participants stopped by UnionDocs or one of the above train stations to grab a map and then went out on their “Get Legit!” adventure. Visiting community gardens and social clubs, housing activists and artists, and learned about the social history of the neighborhood. Collected a token at every site to redeem prizes at Sternberg Park. All leading up to the screening, where everyone enjoyed local food and a round of dominos at the park.
A) A new public artwork & comic book trilogy launch by local artist José Luis Medina. Met the author in person. (Ongoing; Reception 5:30p; UnionDocs, 322 Union Ave)
B) Played the interactive web-doc 89 Steps, installed on the site of production. Climbed a 6 story walk-up with Marta Avilés. (Ongoing; 330 S. 3rd St)
C) What is a barrio? Johana Londoño presented her research in dialogue with local activist & poet David Lopez. (Ongoing; Talks 3/4/5pm, 153 S. 4th St)
D) The BQE split the Southside. Envisioned a green space built over the highway. (Ongoing; Talk w/ deputy Borough Pres. Diana Reyna – 4:30pm, Rodney St. & S. 3rd St)
E) El Timbiriche is a mobile kiosk that collected & shared traditional healing practices. Met El Puente’s team in the Earth Spirit Garden. (Ongoing, 203 S. 2nd St)
F) Saw how tenants fought for affordable housing through the photography of community organizer & artist Fernan Luna. (Ongoing; Talks 3:30/5pm, 149 S. 4th St)
G) Relaxed at Spectacle, a collectively-run screening space. A program of award-winning short docs from Living Los Sures plays on loop. (Ongoing, 124 S. 3rd St)
H) Contextualized at El Museo de Los Sures. View (Dis)Placed Histories exhibit & UnionDocs innovative Los Sures: Shot By Shot. (Ongoing, 120 S. 1st St)
I) Retired Domino Sugar worker, Johnny Mendez won battles for the Berry St. community garden. Heard his story & help him plant. (Ongoing, 301 Berry St.)
J) Had a bite on us at The Caribbean, the last Puerto Rican social club in Los Sures. Looked out for owner Maria Toñita. (Ongoing, 244 Grand St)
K) Put on our headphones and took a 15 block audio walk. Heard voices and stories of the long-term residents on location. (Ongoing, Start at 182 Bedford Ave)
Tamara Gayer debuted a site specific artwork which highlighted the Southside. Collaborating with local shopkeepers Gayer asked each one to add a specific message to the LED signs that adorn their storefronts. Visitors and residents made their way through the neighborhood to unravel a pattern in the messages, and unconsciously traced the Southside, walking from sign to sign. The local signs bookended by two of Gayer’s own LED signs, one at Sternberg Park and one at UnionDocs, which compiled the various messages and added some new ones. These two locations were visited to receive a surprise artwork designed by Gayer.
6 – 8pm
Leading up to the screening, where everyone enjoyed local food and a round of dominos at the park, custom designed by Bien Conectao. Displayed report cards for rewards. Live Talk Shows occured hosted by La Respuesta magazine authors Gabriel José Maldonado and Andre Lee Muñiz. (Sternberg Park, Lorimer St. & Montrose Ave.)
Living Los Sures: a screening of four short documentaries
Sternberg Park, Lorimer St. and Montrose Avenue
Following these afternoon explorations, we screened four never-before-seen short documentaries about Los Sures on the handball court at Sternberg Park.
Los Sures Wrap Party: after party
UnionDocs, 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn
Live music , backyard drinks, and DJs.