I first photographed in Brownsville in the Spring of 2021 when I was commissioned by GQ Japan magazine for a story on the neighborhood. But I quickly realized there was more going on than could be covered in a few visits.
In the early fall of 2022, I began my project in earnest. I want to show the lives of those who live there, the issues that are faced by the community, those who work to try and correct the problems they can, and how the neighborhood is more than the sum of its problems.
Brownsville hosts the largest proportion of public housing in the city while also facing encroaching gentrification. It has major issues with gun violence, drugs, and gangs. The neighborhood lacks access to fresh food, has high poverty rates, and faces major issues around homelessness. Many of the root causes of these problems can be traced back to the city governments’ ignoring the neighborhood and marginalizing it over decades.
But there are those working to fix the problems faced by the neighborhood. Groups like Agape Food Rescue, Brownsville In Violence Out, and the Bethesda Healing Center face the issues head on in the hopes of making the neighborhood better for all those who live there.
In the end, I want the project to tell the story of what life is like for those who call Brownsville home and that there is more to the lives of people in the neighborhood than just the bad news that is all that ever seems to be reported.