Photographing the Transition

    Photographing the Tranistion offers just a few representations of the significant economic, racial and cultural transformation of the Brewerytown and Strawberry Mansion neighborhoods of Philadelphia, PA,  found in the built environment and in the un-building of those worlds. In an all-too-familiar narrative, long-time residents—many of whom are people of color—along with their institutions, businesses and life-ways are being displaced by the seemingly inexorable flow of real estate speculation and capital investment. The backhoe and front-loader now project a ubiquitous and oftentime ominous presence in this area. Homes and businesses are being razed at breakneck speed as young professionals, students and others find the location near central Philadelphia and Fairmount Park desirable.

These imagea are part of larger, ongoing project, Vernacular Spaces and Places, where I photograph the unique architecture, murals and institutions which have been created and supported by residents since the 1940s.  Specifically, I am interested in the visible, vernacular particularity of these spaces and places which speak to the life-ways of those whose time in the area appears to be short.