'Bronx narratives' screens a very different storyline

Yankee Stadium

Yankee Stadium Image by Eric Beato / CC BY 2.0

While millions of tourists are attracted to New York on an annual basis to see the multitude of attractions on offer, there are some parts of the city that are not on the visitors’ wish-to-see list. And aware that the Bronx is one of those oft-maligned districts, a young photographer has set out to literally show the Bronx in a better light.

Dondre Green, 22, claims the novel idea aims to dispel what he calls a widely-held misconception that the borough is home only to crime, the Bronx Zoo and Yankee Stadium. The New York Daily News reports that he decided to spotlight moments in the life of his neighbors in his project ‘Bronx Narratives’ which includes a series of still photographs and a short film.

He also shot an unvarnished short film, interviewing people with a handheld camera in the course of one day last July, adding to a series of still photos he started taking around the same time. He was asked if he would agree with the idea that because the Bronx is not as “promoted” as a tourist/visitor haven, and it is so largely comprised of natives,  that it’s a borough that most reflects the “true New York?"

"I think it’s absolutely true. I’ve heard that before, too. Sometimes it could be a good thing. Other times I feel, hearing that may bring fear to an outsider who has never been. The only real way to know is to make that visit up and see for yourself (which, you know, I recommend)."

Green started posting the series last July on his website and Instagram account which now boasts over 25,000 followers. He spent hours with each subject, photographing them near their home and overlaying a quote that sums up their proud connection to the borough. “I like being the outsider. I like being one of five people in a crowd of a hundred who throws up a X when the DJ shouts out the BX,” says Grand Concourse resident Kofi Dawson, one of Green’s subjects. “I like being the coolest person in the room and for people to ask “Where are you from, Brooklyn?” and for me to answer, “Nah, I’m from the Bronx.”

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