This past Valentine's weekend I had the privilege of being a part of something extra special. Fellow Brooklyn photographer Liz Ligon paired up with writer/producer Lisa Dowda on a photo project documenting the sanitation workers of New York City entitled Chasing Sanitation | Falling in Love with New York's Strongest. As the project unfolded it became clear that, as Liz puts it, Chasing Sanitation "has been a true labor of love / love of labor". This 2 1/2 year project has been highlighted by the launch of a website to document the stories of these two girls from Tennessee chasing sanitation workers around all five boroughs along with a kickstarter fundraiser last fall to raise a little money to put on an exhibit. With a New York Times interview in advance of the show in addition to fundraiser press releases last fall by Marie Claire, Glamour, and NY Daily News this event is sure to capture some hearts.
A little more info...
THIS IS NEW YORK’S STRONGEST: a Photo Narrative Exhibition About Who They Are
Press & VIP Preview, invitation only, Friday, Feb. 11, 2011, 6-8pm
411 Lafayette Street in Noho’s Landmark District
7pm Presentation by Lisa Dowda and Liz Ligon, the Chasing Sanitation Girls
Exhibition Opening Receptions all through Valentine's Weekend
Receptions, open to public, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, February 14th from 6-8pm
The exhibition will be on view through the end of February from 3-9 pm daily.
It took one shoot to fall in love.
It took 2 ½ years to get this date on Valentine’s Weekend.
But oh, what a date … come fall in love with us:
Through the pens and lenses of writer/producer Lisa Dowda and photographer Liz Ligon, and with the insightful eye of curator Elissa Levy, THIS IS NEW YORK’S STRONGEST brings into focus the wit, passion and compassion, history and family that we don't always see in the Sanitation Workers of New York.
“We want the art world and the City of New York to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our City’s Sanitation Workers in a beautiful space. There’s a natural separation between garbage and garbage producer. So we went out looking for strength and beauty on the streets of New York, and we found these humble, amazing people with unheard stories. This project and exhibit are our effort to create a beautiful, sentimental and thoughtful place for that separation to fall away between us and them, if just for a few moments,” says Lisa.
MarieClaire.com posts, “Lisa Dowda and Liz Ligon's visually-arresting site Chasing Sanitation showcases the strength, pride, infectious grins, and impressive biceps of the DSNY in ways they never imagined.”
Duggal Visual Solutions, Local 831, the DSNY Columbia Association, Meringoff Properties, Todd Strier, and 172 Backers from across the 50 states are sponsoring this exhibit.
It took One Shoot to Fall in Love. 6000 miles of New York City. 2500 Sanitation Workers to Chase after. Two chicks, two cameras, a half a dozen journals. A couple thousand photos and hours. Thousands of tons of garbage a year. Blizzards fought and won. An undisclosed amount of parking tickets. One tow. Five boroughs.
Lisa Dowda, Writer/Producer
CHASING SANITATION :: FALLING IN LOVE WITH NEW YORK'S STRONGEST
:: a photo book collaboration between Lisa Dowda of Screamers Lake and Liz Ligon Photography ::
Lisa Dowda (Left) and Liz Ligon (Right)
The VIP reception was attended by the legendary playwright, screenwriter and director John Patrick Shanley.