Join us in celebrating Lower East Side History Month with a conversation between legendary photographer Clayton Patterson and Overthrow's Entertainment Director Power Malu, two longtime champions of this neighborhood’s vibrant counterculture.
Through the lens of photography, we’ll explore how as activists Clayton and Power have kept the roots and essence of the LES alive through dramatic changes in the neighborhood. The do-it-yourself spirit embodied by both Clayton and Power’s approaches to community engagement has sustained the storied origins of this rich and complex district.
The conversation will take place at Overthrow New York and be moderated by Magnum Foundation’s Noelle Flores Théard.
Clayton Patterson has lived and documented in the Lower East Side since the 1980s. Out of his Front Door Photos series, for which he made portraits of local passersby outside of his Essex Studio, came the recognizable “Hall of Fame” window where he’d regularly rotate new images. Looking back at the archive, this artistic intervention served as an Instagram of the era for many Latinx residents who would return regularly to see the new displays.
Power Malu was born and raised in the Lower East Side. In addition to serving as Entertainment Director at Overthrow, Power is an artist, an actor, and the coach of the Bridgerunners group. He also serves on the board of Rhymes Over Beats, a hip hop theater group. A well known local advocate, Power uses his position as a community builder to unite people through art and fitness.
Overthrow New York isn’t just a boxing gym. It was once New York’s counter cultural epicenter, home to a legendary community space that defined the rebellious culture of East Village in the 70’s and 80’s. Overthrow is a place where punks gathered to agitate the system, educate the masses, and organize the revolution.
Magnum Foundation is a nonprofit organization that expands creativity and diversity in documentary photography, activating new audiences and ideas through the innovative use of images. Through grantmaking and mentorship, Magnum Foundation supports a global network of social justice and human rights-focused photographers and experiments with new.
Noelle Flores Théard: I'm a New York based educator and arts administrator with a BA in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, an MA in African Diaspora Studies from Florida International University, and an MFA in Photography from Parsons. I'm Programs Manager at the Magnum Foundation, a nonprofit that expands creativity and diversity in documentary photography. I'm also part-time faculty in the Parsons BFA Photography program, and I teach art history and African Diaspora Studies online at Florida International University. I'm the cofounder and Board Chair of FotoKonbit, a non-profit that teaches photography in Haiti.
COMMENT by Clayton Patterson: I am looking for ways to save my Front Door photos. I have a smart, on point, young man, Aidan Elias scanning images, Beginning the process.
The widest slice of the FD photos is the local Hispanics. 100's of individuals, Capturing many of them over a few decades as they grow up - some from young kids to now they have young kids and some have grandkids. I am hoping to find support for this project.
Grateful to Joey from Overthrow Boxing for putting this on.. for Power Malu for hooking this up and for the interest .. and for Noelle Flores Thread from Magnum Foundation for organizing this and showing an interest in the local Latino culture. thanks, clayton