Join Camilo José Vergara for a signing of his book Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto.
Photographer Camilo José Vergara has been chronicling the neighborhood for 43 years, and Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto is an unprecedented record of urban change. Vergara began his documentation of Harlem in the tradition of such masters as Helen Levitt and Aaron Siskind, and he later turned his focus on the neighborhood's urban fabric, both the buildings that compose it and the life and culture embedded in them. By repeatedly returning to the same locations over the course of decades, Vergara is able to show us a community that is constantly changing—some areas declining, as longtime businesses give way to empty storefronts, graffiti, and garbage, while other areas gentrify, with corporate chain stores coming in to compete with the mom-and-pops. He also captures the ever-present street life of this densely populated neighborhood, from stoop gatherings to graffiti murals memorializing dead rappers to impersonators honoring Michael Jackson in front of the Apollo, as well as the growth of tourism and racial integration.
Woven throughout the images is Vergara's own account of his project and his experience of living and working in Harlem. Taken together, his unforgettable words and images tell the story of how Harlem and its residents navigated the segregation, dereliction and slow recovery of the closing years of the twentieth century and the boom and racial integration of the 21st century. A deeply personal investigation, Harlem will take its place with the best portrayals of urban life.
Please note that due to professional obligations, photographer's book signing dates may change without notification. Limit of two signed copies per customer. Pre-orders and reserve orders are not guaranteed but every effort is made to fulfill orders. Books must be purchased from the ICP Store. If purchased before date of event, please bring your receipt. For more information, call 212.857.9725.
This event takes place during voluntary contribution hours at the museum.
Free Friday night programs in the Museum are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn.