Finding Dante is a direct response to the waves of sociopolitical unrest in response to the high profile instances of unarmed Black and Latino boys and men killed by police in various U.S. cities. Rico Washington and Shino Yanagawa collect images and stories from Black and Brown males ages 8 to 26 in New York City to create a complex composite of individuals contemplating race, stereotypes, and their relationship with law enforcement. The project was exhibited in Harlem, New York, covered by media outlets such as Afropunk and Amsterdam News and exhibited at New York University's Kimmel Galleries.
Finding Dante is partially sponsored by a space grant from Chashama (phase one) and NYU's Center for Multicultural Education and Programs (phase two).
We The People: The Citizens of NYCHA in Pictures + Words aims to challenge the stigmas and stereotypes of New York City's housing projects through photojournalism, oral history, and thoughtful essays.
We The People finds journalist Rico Washington and photographer Shino Yanagawa collecting stories and images through intimate interviews with former and current residents of New York City's public housing authority community. These interviews and photo shoots have resulted in exhibitions at the 2010 World Festival of Black Arts & Cultures (Dakar, Senegal), a 14' X 48' interactive billboard in Downtown Brooklyn, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Brooklyn Historical Society.
Washington and Yanagawa collaborated with the creators of the award winning documentary film Time Is Illmatic to construct a teen workshop series on visual narratives using hip hop lyrics at New York City's Queensbridge housing project (the former community of the film's subject, hip-hop artist Nas). Aspects of this workshop were implemented into the Illmatic Education Curriculum, a hip-hop academic component of the documentary utilized at college campuses and high schools nationwide.
The exhibit has garnered press from local and national media outlets such as NPR and has been praised by the likes of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and esteemed academic/ documentarian Dr. Henry Louis Gates. Watch the video trailers here. More project info here.
We The People features interviews and photographs of such former NYCHA residents as:
* Author/ filmmaker/ cultural critic Nelson George
* Lauded photographer Jamel Shabazz
* Emmy award-winning screenwriter/ filmmaker/ author Dennis Watlington
* Young Lords co-founder/ Emmy award-winning reporter Felipe Luciano
* Venerable jazz/ folk recording artist Olu Dara (father of hip-hop artist Nas)
* Hip-hop artist/ actor Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def)
We The People: The Citizens of NYCHA in Pictures + Words is sponsored in part by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts.
The result of their 2015-2016 San Francisco artist residency, You Belong To The City finds Rico Washington and Shino Yanagawa collaborating once again. The project melds oral histories and photographs of San Francisco residents weathering the storm of the city's present socioeconomic change. More info here and here.
You Belong To The City is sponsored by Social Print Studio.
Four panel album artwork design for the debut album by NYC performance artist/ poet/ vocalist Sean360X.
Rico Washington and photographer Shino Yanagawa collaborated with visual artist Elizabeth Hamby for the Look Up! billboard. Located in the bustling Downtown Brooklyn area mere blocks from the iconic Barclays Center, the billboard fused the artists respective projects (We The People and Alphabet City) onto a large 14 x 48 foot canvas. Upon downloading the Aurasma mobile app, passersby were able to aim smartphone/ tablet cameras at the billboard to unlock an exclusive video featuring the stories of four former and current residents of Brooklyn's public housing community. The Look Up! billboard was on display from October - November 2015. More info here.