Archive for March, 2010

Better Know a Neighborhood #1: Old Fourth Ward

March 24, 2010

The Congress for the New Urbanism conference will be held this year in Atlanta between May 19-22.   David Byrne is one of the featured speakers.  My friend Drew Kane volunteered for the conference to help them build out some content for their website and asked me to help produce some videos about Atlanta that might interest the CNU participants.  Drew’s idea was to produce video vignettes about a few intown Atlanta neighborhoods.   The segments would provide introductory information about the neighborhoods and their various development issues over the years.  The title of our series is a nod to the recurring segment on The Colbert Report.

We are producing four of these videos and will roll them out over the next six weeks or so.  Beyond these four, we’d love to get some funding to produce more videos about other Atlanta neighborhoods.  If you have any ideas about how to fund this longer range project, let me know.

The first segment in this series focuses on the Old Fourth Ward.  We interviewed O4W resident and Atlanta City Councilmember Kwanza Hall, and he discusses the neighborhood’s multicultural history, the O4W development efforts led by Coretta Scott King, and the vision for the community for the next fifty years.

Picture Man

March 3, 2010

Oraien Catledge took some amazing photographs of the residents of Cabbagetown in the 1980s and 90s.  Because of the use of black & white and the focus on working-class subjects, Catledge’s pictures have often been compared to the Depression-era images of Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange.  Unlike the FSA photographers, who often took their pictures and moved on, Catledge burrowed into a single place and culture over a long period of time, much like an ethnographer. Catledge was welcomed into the lives and homes of Cabbagetown residents, partly because he showed up there virtually every weekend for over twenty years but also because he routinely gave something back, namely pictures and lots of them.  There may be other examples of street photographers who have routinely given prints back to their subjects, but I don’t know any.

A retrospective of Catledge’s work will be published in August, and an exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Art will begin in October.  I’ve been asked to produce a video loop for the museum exhibition, and this segment will be part of that larger piece.  To view the video in a larger size, click here.  Thanks to Constance Lewis for helping produce this segment.


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