For the past three years, I’ve been living between Marseilles, my French hometown, and the great New York City. Luckily, my American boyfriend happened to live in Brooklyn; a place that has always triggered my imagination. During my stay across the Atlantic Ocean, I carry my film camera wherever I go, eager to discover more of my new wonderful playground.
However, my stay last February was a bit different. It snowed as hell, and Trump has been elected. I decided to shoot black and white for a change. I guess as an artist I felt more than ever obligated to testify what I witnessed; to convey the new mood that was going on.
Each photograph tells a story about American culture, what it's like living in Brooklyn and about Park Slope, my hood.
The Slope also known as Strollers’ Hell is a typical example of gentrification. You will see nothing but hipsters, urban restaurants, artsy boutiques, fancy dogs, and white people.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining here. Brooklyn is beautiful. It is lively, and Brooklyn is the street. Whatever the weather is, you can expect people to be outside. People loves gathering together. Whether it's in a coffee shop or in a restaurant, people talks to each other — connecting. But what stroke me the most about this community is the numerous churches existing. Everywhere you go, you're sure to find one.
I experience living in ‘South Slope’, a more popular part of the neighborhood. There, you can still feel the pure energy and true spirit of Brooklyn. Even though gentrification started couple of years ago. Typical New York-Italian pizzerias, Polish grocery stores, taquerias, funky kitschy Chinese stores. Now that is Brooklyn. The real deal.
Living there, and in New York in general, also means being in tiny apartments with roaches and bringing your big laundry bag each week to the launderette. Unfortunately, it also means paying for staying healthy. Believe me, you don’t want to catch a bad cold in America, which is very unlikely under the blizzard with overheated interiors. It will cost you a fortune and it's sad to think that medication is only for the fortunate ones.
That is America. That is Brooklyn. A wonderful land full of opportunities and paradoxes.
Amusement and food everywhere.
Churches and bars.
Fancy dogs and roaches.
That will never change for sure. But I really do wish, with all of my soul, that the ‘United Immigrants of America’ will be safer under this new cold political era.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND WORDS BY ANNE SOPHIE LANDOU