Written by Madeleine Gruder. Video by Emmet Padgett.
On an ordinary day in quarantine, one can wander around the streets of New York City and find people protesting through many forms of expression. Downtown, if you look one way you might experience the vibration of a passing racial justice march. Turn the other way and you might find yourself among a slurry of artists, all of whom are casting their brushes upon the boarded up businesses of SOHO proper.
The collective, known as Soho Social Impact, was founded by Tristan Reginato in June this year. The concept was realized in support of the Black Lives Matter movement— specifically pertaining to the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade; to those whose names we know, and those whose names we do not.
The work reflects a physical reclamation of space, as well as a representation of what’s possible when the people of New York City feel empowered. It’s a welcome renaissance in a neighborhood like SOHO— a place that at one time existed as an artist’s haven, and ended up in the hands of corporate America.
In a vivid juxtaposition, the boarded up windows of store-fronts no longer sport brand-name commercial advertisements. Instead, the vessels of corporate greed have been transformed into a space for true political expression.
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Get to know Emmet better, @inspector.padgett for all her latest photo and video work.