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Five Sixty- Four

The “Five Sixty-Four'' concept origins are rooted in my childhood home located at 564 Wyona Street in Brooklyn,New York (East New York) This is the address where my great-grandmother purchased her first home after the murder of her husband and where she raised her six children and eventually remarried. In a way, that house and neighborhood is like a homestead to our family, as almost everyone in my family has resided there at some point in their life.Growing up, I heard family stories that always had a different twist depending on who the narrator was. Some of these stories still have lingering effects, as the past hinders present relationships between family members.Subsequently, these unresolved traumas can leave families and communities of low socioeconomic status filled with suppressed pain and masked scars.Such communities with households in the likeness of “Five Sixty Four” are largely comprised of  black and hispanic families which are conditioned to bury our emotions and memories, not realizing the collateral damage it causes to future generations’ mental health.The disparaging effect is that the younger generations continue to go on not recognizing or knowing how to properly and effectively deal with their emotions in relation to trauma.

   While using my family as a microcosm for the larger scope of many black families,the work presented examines how underlying traumas can play a part in the dark cycle of generational curses, or as science would classify it, generational mental illnesses and/or disorders. My work consists of two core components, one being an interview, where I have the opportunity to sit one-on-one with my family members and hear their stories with no interruptions from others. The conversations afford me the chance to connect with them on a deeper level while simultaneously learning more about myself. The second component is the photographing process, where I am tasked with capturing the essence of each family member within an intimate space prevalent to my family’s history, while narrating a raw truth through a beautiful pain of perseverance.

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