Nastassia Kantorowicz Torres is a Colombian freelance photographer whose work is centered around advancing human rights through visual communication. Her focus is on migration, access to safe water and sanitation and the underlying social bonds of...
May 26, 2017 - Brooklyn, NY, USA - Saint Marks Avenue between Ralph Avenue and Buffalo Avenue. Row houses are a common building found in Brooklyn, housing up to three families. In the past 4 years market price in this area in Saint Marks Avenue has almost doubled.
In the eastern Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, lies a tight-knit community that resembles an extended family. With Troy Avenue to the west, Ralph Avenue to the east, Atlantic Avenue to the north, and Eastern Parkway to the south, gentrification slowly casts its shadow on this unique Brooklyn neighborhood. A snap shot of life within this vibrant community Ralph explores kinship and the meaning of place for a group of people who are defined by their strong sense of home and the city they belong to.
February 19, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Ralph Avenue between Prospect Place and Park Place. (L to R) Naomi, Nancy and Uniqua standing in front of their Congregation, Peterson Temple COGIC. In Ralph Avenue alone, there are around 14 religious sites out of 210 total religious sites in all of Crown Heights. Religious congregations, an important actor in the social fabric of Crown Heights, are also under risk of being closed to due to new developments.
April 6, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Utica Avenue and St. John's Place. Diego Brown, writer, singer and stylist. The social safety net that exists within this tight-knit community risks of being severed due to high rental prices.
April 06, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Brower Park. Shanee Benjamin, 24 years old, resident in Crown Heights. She says “Since gentrification is happening its nice to take a walk because you feel safer in the neighborhood”.
March 12, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Prospect Place and Ralph Avenue. Wayne Thompson is originally from St Kits. Crown Heights is also known as the "Little Caribbean" as a large majority of the population is West Indian and Caribbean.
May 17, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Farah Vulton, 36 years old, stands in front of her house on Dean Street. She is originally from California and has lived in Brooklyn for 7 years. One thing she loves about the neighborhood is its diversity. Between the 2000 and 2010 NYC census, white non-Hispanic population in Crown Heights has increased by 145%. Respectively, crime rates between 2001 and 2016 have dropped by 40% (source NYPD).
May 17, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Schenectady Avenue between Park Place and Sterling Place. From left to right: Osman is half Venezuelan an half from Granada, he is the cousin of the twins. Khyana, 23 years old, was born and raised on Schenectady Avenue and is best friends with the twins. The twins, Makaya and Makayda McNeilly, 19 years old, from Granada and raised in the house in the background. For Makaya, change in the neighborhood means new people moving in, rent prices going up, and seeing her family and friends leave the neighborhood because they can’t afford rent.
May 17, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Schenectady Avenue between Dean Street and Pacific Street. This Weeping Willow is part of a community garden that lies in the historic area of Weeksville. It is under threat of being cut down due to the purchase of a lot by a real estate developer.
April 15, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Brooklyn Avenue between Park Place and Prospect Place. Sandra Friedman (L) and Roichae McPherson-Joseph (R) meet four years ago and are now best friends. They said their friendship represents unity between the African American and Jewish communities in Crown Heights. In 1991 riots erupted between both communities when a car driven by a Hasidic Jew hit a young African American.
February 26, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Park Place between Ralph Avenue and Buffalo Avenue. Gentrification in Crown Heights is happening, yet community led organizations are working to inform tenants of their rights to protect them from being pushed out from their homes by developers.
April 29, 2017 - Brooklyn, New York City, NY, USA - Saint Marks Avenue. Donald Sheldon, originally from southern United States, has been living on Saint Marks Avenue for 4 years. He lives in the historical area of Weeksville. Weeksville was founded in the 1830’s and became of the largest free black communities in the United States.
March 29, 2017 - Brooklyn, NY, USA - Atlantic Avenue, the administrative border between Crown Heights and Bedford–Stuyvesant. Developers in the area will change the neighborhoods borders to attract new tenants.