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Posts in Interviews
The Red Line Archive: An Interview with Walis Johnson

The Red Line Archive: An Interview with Walis Johnson

Interviewed by Prithi Kanakamedala

Today on the blog, editor Prithi Kanakamedala sits down with artist Walis Johnson to discuss her current work, The Red Line Archive Project, which activates conversations about the personal and political effects of redlining using her own family’s story growing up in Brooklyn.

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Taking Care of Brooklyn: An Interview with Erin Wuebker

Taking Care of Brooklyn: An Interview with Erin Wuebker

Interviewed by Katie Uva

Today on the blog, editor Katie Uva talks to Erin Wuebker, Assistant Curator of the Brooklyn Historical Society's new exhibition, Taking Care of Brooklyn: Stories of Sickness and Health. The longterm exhibition, on view until June 2022, examines 400 years of Brooklyn's history through the lens of public health.

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Archiving for Access and Activism: An Interview with Interference Archive

Archiving for Access and Activism: An Interview with Interference Archive

By Emily Brooks

Interference Archive is a Brooklyn-based organization that collects and houses materials created as part of social movements. These materials, which include posters, flyers, publications, buttons, and much more, are stored and exhibited in an open stacks archival collection at 314 7th street in Park Slope. In addition to organizing and maintaining the collection, which is open to all, Interference’s volunteers also showcase the archival collections through exhibits and various community events aimed at supporting contemporary activism. This spring, I sat down with two of Interference’s volunteers, Ryan and Nora, to talk about how the space works and the role they see the archive playing in connecting social movements of the past with those of today.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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A Documentary History of Stonewall: An Interview with Marc Stein

A Documentary History of Stonewall: An Interview with Marc Stein

Interviewed by Katie Uva

Today on the blog, we talk to Marc Stein about his new book, The Stonewall Riots: A Documentary History. In it, he compiles 200 documents that shed light on the years immediately preceding and after the events at Stonewall.

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City of Workers, City of Struggle

City of Workers, City of Struggle

By Andy Battle

“City of Workers, City of Struggle.” Since its founding, New York has been emphatically both. A new exhibit with this name, up at the Museum of the City of New York until January, communicates the ways in which the shape of the present city — physical, economic, social, and cultural — has been given to us by the cumulative struggles of its workers for material well-being, autonomy, and a dignified life. The main goal, according to lead curator Steven H. Jaffe, is to communicate “just how intertwined the rise of modern New York City is with working people and their movements.”

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Dredging Newtown Creek: An Interview with Mitch Waxman

Dredging Newtown Creek: An Interview with Mitch Waxman

Interviewed by Joseph Alexiou

Writer and photographer Mitch Waxman is the leading authority on the history of Newtown Creek, a toxically polluted industrial waterway on the border between Brooklyn and Queens. In addition to his reporting and documentation, Waxman leads regular tours on land and by boat while spreading the unique stories of New York’s most centrally located contaminated coastline to the community.

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The Picture the Homeless Oral History Project: Don’t Talk About Us, Talk With Us

The Picture the Homeless Oral History Project: Don’t Talk About Us, Talk With Us

Today on the blog, former Executive Director of Picture the Homeless Lynn Lewis speaks with Molly Rosner about her experience conducting oral history interviews as both an organizer and an oral historian. Quotes from interviewees in the project have been interspersed throughout the text.

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Recovering New York’s Entangled Dutch, Native American, and African Histories: An Interview with Jennifer Tosch

Recovering New York’s Entangled Dutch, Native American, and African Histories: An Interview with Jennifer Tosch

By Andrea Mosterman

Many of New York’s Dutch colonists and their descendants relied on the labor of enslaved people. Some historic sites have struggled to address this part of their history and looked for ways in which they can share it with their visitors. For example, an exhibit at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn, built in 1699 by Hendrick Claessen Vechte, includes a brief discussion of the home’s enslaved residents. Yet, much of the Dutch history of slavery in New York City and its surroundings is still little known, especially among the general public.

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Capital City: An Interview with Sam Stein

Capital City: An Interview with Sam Stein

In Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State, Sam Stein offers a theoretical and empirically grounded discussion of how gentrification became a generalized fact of urban life in the 21st century, and how we can not only stop it, but also build cities that work for all, not just the wealthy few. Centering his discussion around the contradictory and often hidden role of professional planners, Stein illustrates how the state has been central to the rise of real estate in urban political economies, leveraging state “police powers” to turn devalued urban land into a profitable commodity — the so called “spatial fix” that capital requires from time to time in moments of crisis. By bringing to life the diverse set of state and non-state actors responsible for turning the places we cherish into products to be bought and sold, Stein also reveals the contingencies and limits of real estate capital’s power over our lives.

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On the Hot Seat: An Interview with John Garvey of the Taxi Rank & File Coalition

On the Hot Seat: An Interview with John Garvey of the Taxi Rank & File Coalition

John Garvey is a Brooklyn native and lifelong New York City resident. During the 1970s, he was a leading activist in the Taxi Rank & File Coalition, a group of radical cab drivers determined to fight their bosses and a union leadership they perceived as corrupt and ineffective. Later in life, John worked as an educator in New York City jails and headed the Teacher Academy and Collaborative Programs at the City University of New York, where, among other things, he was instrumental in establishing the CUNY Prep program, which offers out-of-school youth a pathway to college. ​He is an editor of Insurgent Notes, of Hard Crackers: Chronicles of Everyday Life, and was an editor of Race Traitor, a journal that published between 1993 and 2005 whose motto was “treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity.”

This interview, conducted by Gotham's Andy Battle, has been condensed and edited for clarity.

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