Claremont Illuminated

Claremont Illuminated


Jun 28, 2019 | 7pm



 Kamal Badhey | Gabriela Bhaskar | Trevon Blondet | Salvador Espinoza | Mitchell Harris-Dennis | Lisa Kahane | Coco McPherson 
Jon Santiago | Rhynna M. Santos | Sean Sirota | Adi Talwar | Michael Young 


Friday, June 28th, 7-11PM                          Saturday, June 29th, 7-11PM

169th Street x Webster Ave, Bronx, NY 10456


The Bronx Documentary Center (BDC) invites you to the opening reception of our second annual two-day outdoor photography festival, Claremont Illuminated on Friday, June 28th, and Saturday, June 29th, from 7-11PM. 

Claremont Illuminated will be an evening photography festival that will revitalize and make safer a dark and isolated stairwell at 169th Street and Webster Ave on the edge of the South Bronx's Claremont Village, a New York City Housing Project. The photography festival will feature numerous media projections on the walls surrounding the stairwell. 

The Claremont Documentary Project explores the diverse lives and stories of the residents of Claremont Village, a New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing development located in the Morrisania section of the South Bronx, through photographs, oral history, film, and multimedia. 

In 2019, twelve fellowships were awarded to photographers from backgrounds underrepresented in the field of documentary photography. The fellows will spend the year reporting on life at Claremont Village, exploring a range of political and economic issues such as lead contamination, food security, access to healthcare, infrastructure, and policing. They also will follow the lives of everyday families, collect oral histories from the houses' oldest residents, and chronicle the new immigrant communities.

The many successes and positive stories from Claremont Village, which are often overlooked in the popular media, are emblematic of unexamined successes across urban America. And the many failures and challenges of life in Claremont Village are also emblematic of the troubles that face urban America.


The first year of the project (2017-2018) was photographed by the Bronx Photo League; their work culminated in Claremont Illuminated, a two-day outdoor photography festival at Claremont Village. Planned in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, Claremont Illuminated is a collaborative cultural placemaking project to light up underutilized network public spaces with nighttime artworks and programming led by Bronx-based artists and young adults. The project is part of a multi-year community and City process to transform the built environment and activate public spaces to reduce crime, create safe vibrant corridors, and increase neighborhood cohesion.

The Claremont Documentary Project fellowship program, led by Danielle Jackson, builds on the BDC’s commitment to expand access to documentary photography, to build skills, and to give voice to stories from artists from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Each Claremont Fellow will produce two in-depth, issue-driven photography projects. This year-long fellowship format is an alternative to fee-based photography training programs.  Fellows, whose ages span five decades, will receive individualized mentorship, monthly capacity-building workshops, and a small stipend to support production expenses. 

Building on the success of the first Claremont Illuminated, the BDC and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice are planning a series of outdoor installations at Claremont Village in the summer and fall of 2019. The Claremont Documentary Project will culminate in an exhibition and photobook.

Claremont Illuminated 2018 from Bronx Documentary Center on Vimeo
Video produced by BDC Films
Cinematography and editing by Harry Montas 

Learn more about the Claremont Documentary Project.
Follow the project on Instagram.


The Claremont Documentary Project and Claremont Illuminated are made possible, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Lincoln Center Cultural Innovation Fund, which is generously supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and administered by Lincoln Center.

PHOTOS: Claremont Illuminated, 2018. © Adi Talwar