For Immediate Release May 23, 2017 Contact: Imani Henry 646 342 9673
New “This Is Flatbush” Documentary Fights Back Against the Corporate Rebranding of Flatbush, Brooklyn
#ThisIsFlatbush #FlatbushForever #LittleCaribbean #Beforeitsgone #TakeItBack #BrooklynisNotforSale
Brooklyn, New York - May 23, 2016 - This Is Flatbush is a new documentary short taking aim at the corporate rebranding of Flatbush, Brooklyn through a compilation of interviews with longtime residents, transplants, activists and a professor of urban planning.
In This Is Flatbush, residents and activists talk about parts of the neighborhood they've long known as Flatbush and the very recent appearance of "Prospect Lefferts Gardens" and "Ditmas Park" on maps. Residents also discuss their fears of losing their homes due to skyrocketing rents as well as how gentrification threatens to destroy the very identity of this largely low-to-middle income migrant community of color.
"Traditionally, the ‘re-branding’ of a neighborhood is done , in order to distance it from whatever the real estate industry feels is ‘problematic’ about the existing neighborhood in order to re-package it to newcomers", said Victor Moses, a life-long East Flatbush resident and activist with E4F. "The re-branding of Flatbush, it is about the erasure of Caribbean and other migrant families of color who have built this community, who struggle to continue to live here and make this place somewhere to be proud of."
Most importantly, This Is Flatbush focuses on the causes of the neighborhood's gentrification, namely the collusion between the city government, real estate developers, landlords to profit by evicting longtime tenants and rebranding Flatbush with other names in order to attract wealthier, largely white residents from whom larger sums of rent can be charged as new luxury high-rises are constructed.
The documentary was produced as a collaboration between Equality for Flatbush and New York University graduate film students Blair McClendon and Harry Cepka. Imani Henry of Equality for Flatbush (E4F) provided the direction and conducted the interviews. Anna Simmons of E4F arranged many of the interviews and assisted with the general production.
This Is Flatbush features Joyce Stewart, President of 320 Sterling Pl Tenants Association; Ninaj Raoul, Executive Director of Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees; Bob Tomison, Prospect Lefferts Gardens Neighborhood Association (PLGNA) Founder; Steven Rice, PLGNA Secretary; Tom Angotti, Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at Hunter College; and Flatbush residents Simone, Ashley, Angel, Stephen and Eileen, among others.
Equality for Flatbush is a new people of color-led, multi-national grassroots organization which does anti-police repression, affordable housing and anti-gentrification organizing in the Flatbush and East Flatbush communities of Brooklyn, NY.