Criminalize Brooklyn

Artist Statemeny by Imani Tudor

As a documentary photographer, I’m strongly inspired by identity. I’m interested in the mentality of poverty, and the reasoning’s behind why the Black community is so highly targeted by the criminal justice system. As a person from this community, I’ve been documenting certain aspects of criminality that I see in my everyday life. Hip-Hop sprung out of these communities as a coping mechanism, and a celebration of culture and lifestyle. It has always been the voice of the youth and the voice of the black urban community. Using the neighborhoods of Bed-Stuy, Bushwick, and Crown Heights, historically poor Black Neighborhoods in Brooklyn, as my center stage, I sought out to document subtle aspects of criminal activity, or stereotyped indicators of criminal behavior.

Using rap lyrics as a way to decipher these images, I hope to speak on a broader sense of what it’s like to be persecuted as a young black person in this country. The lyrics, hand written by a child, signifies the conditions in which young black men must grow up fast in order to survive, and the beginnings of the street hustle mentality.

Criminalize Brooklyn is a collection of images mixing documentary, text, and appropriated imagery to shed light on the conditions Black people in this country live under.