Portraits of My Neighbors
a documentation of the "Voices of Lefferts" writing project
"Voices of Lefferts creates a space for PLG residents to put into practice the credo of the 1930's Federal Writers' Project which set out to 'introduce Americans to America' in the context of one Brooklyn neighborhood through portraits, interviews, and local histories". - Deborah Mutnick, Project Director
The series currently features portraiture of seven writers published in that journal. I follow the authors around their homes, on the streets of Flatbush, and to local markets, churches, and parks while they tell me their stories: how and when they got here and why this is home.
Below are excerpts of the writings from the participants of Voices of Lefferts; The Flatbush-PLG Community Writing Journal, Vol. 1. (2018)
Our Road to Midwood Street
by Art Schaffer
"I hauled a bag of trash to the curb just as a garbage truck pulled up. I handed the bag to the sanitation guy and he looked at me and asked 'Why are you hanging on'?"
by Frederick Johnson
"God, the one who created heaven and earth, he is the author of my story, your story, every person's story".
And You May Find Yourself On Flatbush Ave.
by John Munelly
"After checking in at the dog shelter I waited my turn: pacing, standing, sitting on the plastic seats. At one point I was at the doors looking out onto the street and the bright blue sky wondering if I'd find the dog at all."
My Parkside/My Flatbush
by Norma Williams
"...I cannot help but think of what my neighborhood used to be and what it is now".
Passing The Torch
by Frank Marchese
"As the sun streamed through the triplex of windows, framed in the cherry wood panels that we painstakingly stripped of layers of paint so many years ago, I set out to get Stephen's perspective on the neighborhood where we lived and raised a family for over thirty years".
Grace Reformed Church: Bedford, Lincoln-Lefferts ...and Beyond
by Andrea Baker
"I knew that I had found that something. I knew that I was home".
On the Spring of Lefferts
by Steven Rice (aka Definition)
"Modern Grecian city-state
Kemet en contemporary
Flatbush heartbeats Brooklyn
PLG its atrium
Redlining, gentrifying-- opposites on a half-dollar
Guessing heads or tails
is a hard convo we must have
Kiosks replaced payphones
Crack Era swapped by K2
caught on social media
Baseheads to zombies on Snapchat
Dog-tongued teens must learn to play and socialize
My mind trails memory service roads
of stoop sittin', double dutchin', and trash talkin' "
For more information or to schedule a photoshoot: