The urgency of the Covid-19 pandemic has underscored the essential role of caregivers in the health, community, and economy of the United States. In every city and neighborhood, caregivers may be volunteers, relatives, or professionals and are often people of color and frequently immigrants. For nearly a year, photographers Anna and Jordan Rathkopf have been photographing care workers in their community of southern Brooklyn. They have captured the diversity and commitment of these local heroes, many of whom are volunteering their time. They note: "We've witnessed so many incredible people step up for their community because someone had to. They have not asked for recognition, fame, or payment. It has been a selfless act of solidarity embodied by people from all kinds of backgrounds." Anna added: ”As an immigrant woman, I have been so inspired by the many women organizers I have met throughout this project, many of whom are immigrants or first-generation."
LinkNYC is sharing these photographs on hundreds of digital kiosks throughout Brooklyn as an inspiration for New Yorkers emerging from a harrowing year.
care:work is a new national initiative to foreground the importance of caregiving in our homes, institutions, schools, and communities. Whether they are professionals or family members, caregivers are essential workers that are increasingly critical to our quality of life. Too often they have been invisible, and care: work is collaborating with
artists, community activists, and caregivers to recognize and share their importance.
This inaugural exhibition was inspired by the leadership and vision of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and many local grassroots community service organizations that have responded to the pandemic crisis. These are the real heroes and they include APNA Brooklyn Community Center, Arab American Association, Bay Ridge Cares, Brooklyn Immigrant Community Services, Grandma’s Love, ICNA, Kensington/Windsor Terrace Mutual Aid, Our Life.NYC, South Brooklyn Mutual Aid.
For more information, visit www.careworkproject.org
May 2021 - Brooklyn, NY