NEW YORK, NY.- The Bronx Documentary Center
, a non-profit gallery and educational space focusing on documentary photography, film, and new media, has just released Jerome Ave by The Bronx Photo League. This marks the BDC's first photo book offering from its newly formed imprint -- BDC Editions.
Jerome Ave documents and celebrates the workers and trades people of Jerome Avenue, one of New York City's few remaining working class neighborhoods. The city is considering a plan to rezone two miles along Jerome Avenue, which may spell the end of a proud culture of industry and work in this last bastion of New York City's working class.
Named in reference to The Photo League, a politically engaged collective of New York based photographers operating in the 20th century, The Bronx Photo League, a project of the Bronx Documentary Center, is made up of 18 Bronx photographers committed to documenting social issues and change in the borough. During one year, they photographed the workers of the avenue with Hasselblad cameras. The resulting meticulously detailed medium-format portraits create a powerful social communal portrait following in the tradition of Lewis Hine who over a century ago used photography as a tool for social reform as much as an artistic medium.
Featured artists are: Ed Alvarez, Trevon Blondet, David "Dee" Delgado, Melissa "Bunni" Elian, Jesus Emmanuel, Giacomo Francia, Michael Kamber, Katie Khouri, Netza Morena, Nina Robinson, Heriberto Sanchez, Jonathan Santiago, Rhynna M. Santos, Adi Talwar, Berthland Tekyi-Berto, Edwin Torres, Elias Williams, and Osaretin Ugiabe.
Michael Kamber, who contributes the book's introduction, has worked as a photojournalist for 25 years. Along with Danielle Jackon and a dozen volunteers, he founded the Bronx Documentary Center to carry on the ideas and values of his friend Tim Hetherington, a photographer and filmmaker killed in Libya in 2011.
Since opening its doors in 2011, the BDC has held 25 major photography exhibitions and hundreds of public programs, including film screenings, lectures, workshops, free guided exhibition tours for over 150 school groups and community organizations, and community-based service projects such as free holiday portraits for South Bronx residents. It has also developed two major educational programs: The Bronx Photo League (for adult photographers), and an after-school program, The Bronx Junior Photo League (for middle-school to high-school students).