For the first time since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic the Red Hook Community Justice Center’s photography program held in person classes during the fall of 2021 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn.
Though classes were based in Sunset Park, students traveled from different parts of New York City, some even as far away as The Bronx and Queens Village. During our 12 weeks together, students learned about photography basics and techniques and also learned how to document their lives, interests, and the world around them. Using our cameras, we were able to tell each other about our neighborhoods and what we looked for when we were finally able to venture out of our homes after the lockdown. Whether it was iconic architecture, dramatic sunsets, hidden nature sprinkled around us, tattoo culture, or the familiar tale of a New York City entrepreneur, we all re-learned how to take a deep breath in and appreciate the world around us. We present to you just a few of our favorite things that contribute to this resilient city we all call home.
For over 10 years, the Red Hook Community Justice Center’s JustArts youth photography program’s goal is to enable young people to recognize their own talents and interests as they make life-changing decisions to become civically engaged leaders of tomorrow. It seeks to introduce youth to photography as an art form, build their sense of self-efficacy and skills in artistic self-expression, build job readiness and life skills, and foster an interest in the arts and awareness of arts careers.
This photography program was facilitated by photographer Salvador Espinoza. Salvador Espinoza is a photographer born and raised in New York City. Primarily a documentary photographer and photojournalist, he specializes in focusing on social issues by shooting realistic slices of everyday life. His work has won awards from the Queens Council on the Arts as well as the New York City Council, and has been published in the New York Times, BBC News, Rolling Stone and Mass Appeal.
The exhibition is created and produced in partnership with Photoville, a New York-based non-profit organization that works to promote a wider understanding and increased access to the art of photography for all — by producing a free photo festival, activating public spaces, amplifying visual storytellers, and connecting artists to a wider worldwide audience. For more information, please visit www.photoville.com or follow us on IG @photoville
Thank you to New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), the Robin Hood Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, The Rose M. Badgeley Charitable Trust, New York State Senator Jabari Brisport ,and Center for Family Life at P.S. 1 for supporting this program.
Additional thank you to Teaching Assistants Shaniya Moore and Leslie Harris and Associate Director of Youth and Community Initiatives, Leslie Gonzaga.