This Side of Paradise

Martine Fougeron presents a selection of photographs called Trades/Oficios/ Métiers in the South Bronx. The project highlights the historic and economic importance of the industries of Hunts Point and Port Morris to the wider New York community, bring closer together the area’s residential and industrial communities, and encourage youths to pursue their own trade in the Bronx and beyond.

Fougeron has photographed these ‘forgotten trades’ and created portraits of workers, interiors, machines and products of these diverse industries, from hard-core industrial steel production and recycling, to seafood distribution, to more artisan trades like baking, printing or canvas stretching. Fougeron wants to bring art into active relation with diverse spheres of society with the aim of inspiring and producing responsible social change.

In collaboration with The POINT, Trades/Oficios/Métiers also sparks a new relationship between the area’s residents and the industries that they live among. The photographs will be displayed as public art in large-scale installations on the exterior of the factory buildings, transforming the stark industrial landscape into a welcoming celebration for the local communities. Beholding the Bronx industries inside out-from Bolts to Nuts.

Earlier in the year, community programs organized with ICP-The POINT engaging local youth in the project through factory tours has served as a springboard to explore community identity in creative ways via photography. As the project continues, community programs organized with The POINT, will engage local residents and youth in the project through factory tours, panel discussions, and youth photography and mural projects. Special thanks to the Industries who have opened their doors: Down East SeaFood, Elite Signs, Valencia Bakery, Sims Metal Management, Midland Steel.

Funding has also been made possibly by the Puffin Foundation. This project is also made possible in part with the public funds from The Bronx Council on the Arts through the new York City Department of Cultural Affairs Greater new York ARts Development Fund Regrants program, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr and the Bronx Delegation of the City Council.