For a generation, tabloids, television, and Hollywood have defined the public image of New Yorkers who live in the city's 334 housing projects. Focusing on crime, disrepair, and other ills that afflict these islands of red brick, such portrayals ironically have made it all too easy for government to reduce the support these projects have relied on since their birth some eighty years ago. And so conditions worsen further yet, as the buildings try to soldier on past their useful life, at times crumbling around the 400,000+ tenants.
What if these New Yorkers had the tools and training to document their own lives? And the opportunity to share the result?
Project Lives takes you on a remarkable journey into a world turned inside out, where the camera's subject becomes the storyteller. Participatory photography-of which this collection marks one of the largest efforts anywhere-approaches a new visual medium, a universal language speaking across borders and cultures.
By using their single-use film cameras as a window into the heart of the projects and a creative instrument of hope, the courageous souls who set out on a daunting mission-to change how their neighbors, friends, relations, and very lives are viewed by America-may accomplish more than helping preserve their homes.
George Carrano, Chelsea Davis, and Jonathan Fisher bring you a unique experience of a city within a city. All royalties from the sale of this book will be donated to resident programs at the New York City Housing Authority.
Project Lives was honored in Spring 2016 by being named a finalist for both Best Multicultural Nonfiction Book of 2015, and Best Current Events/Social Change Book of 2015, in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.