This film was made on E 19 St. between Foster Av. and Glenwood Rd. in Brooklyn as part of On My Block Films, a film challenge that brings together communities by inviting them to create short films using the residents of their block as cast and crew.
New York is a crowded and busy city. Its inhabitants rarely meet with the people living around them. On My Block Films creates an opportunity for neighbors to introduce themselves, to work together, and to create trusted relationships through a collaborative filmmaking process.
With its long and continuing history as a haven for immigrants, artists, musicians, poets, and political activists, the Lower East Side has been a cultural incubator since its earliest days. Ideas, movements, trends and customs that derive from either old or new world cultures, or both, emerged and radiated from here.
During the summer of 2012, I joined Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) to produce a documentary about the activist history of the Lower East Side.
In The Building of a Community activists, artists, historians and political representatives describe the neighborhood, the squats, the community gardens and explain the struggle to save them.
To service the mission of MoRUS, this documentary aims to broadcast the historical memory of the activist movements of the Lower East Side.