Author Archives: Sarah Singh

RAT FILM Screening and Discussion

Rat Film: Screening and Discussion with Director Theo Anthony and Historian Paige Glotzer

Check out the posted video of this discussion here.

On Tuesday, February 13th, The Urban Democracy Lab at NYU Gallatin screened “RAT FILM,” a documentary film that chronicles the extent of the “rat issue” in Baltimore, Maryland. RAT FILM focuses on the history of disparate and discriminatory housing policies in Baltimore through the agent of the rat. Filmmaker Theo Anthony was present at the screening and spoke to his wanting to learn more about his home city, and deciding to use the rat as a storytelling lens to explore themes of race and environmental hazards in housing.   The screening was followed by a panel discussion between filmmaker, photographer and writer Theo Anthony and Paige Glotzer, a Prize Fellow in Economics History and Politics at Harvard University in addition to a Q&A session with audience members. Conversation between Anthony and Glotzer oscillated between histories of “urban renewal” and the impact which mid 20th century city planning had on the current layout and experiences of communities within Baltimore.

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The City is the Factory Panel Discussion

The City is the Factory from Cornell University Press.
The City is the Factory from Cornell University Press.

On Monday November 6th, Gallatin’s Urban Democracy Lab (UDL) hosted Miriam Greenberg, Penny Lewis, and Daniel Aldana Cohen, contributors to the new book, The City is the Factory: New Solidarities and Spatial Strategies in an Urban Age. The conversation dived deeply into what would constitute a truly sustainable city. This panel honed in on the exciting prospects of progress that exist in the future of cities, focusing on the connection between urban longevity, labour rights and disaster relief response. 

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Criminalizing Dance & Movements Against Police Brutality On Screen: GET LITE and WHOSE STREETS at City Lore

The Lower East Side’s City Lore gallery exhibits and “preserves the grassroots, cultural heritage of NYC” through art showings and screenings. They recently hosted two important films on interrelated themes affecting the lives of young people of color.  They screened ‘GET LITE on June 17th, 2017 on a dance subculture; as well as that of WHOSE STREETS on October 11th, 2017 on the organization behind the Black Lives Matter movement and quality of life policing.  

WHOSE STREETS? Documentary

GET LITE exhibits the art of litefeet, “Litefeet is the new American dance; a dance done by hustlers and dreamers qua criminals; a dance of ambition and talent… a dance of underprivileged youth looking for a break in a city that criminalizes their movements”. “WHOSE STREETS” is a first-hand exposè of the continued police violence which followed the murder of teenager Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th 2014.  Directors Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis feature several of the voices involved in the initial rise of the prominent Black Lives Matter movement.  While WHOSE STREETS reshapes the narrative of mainstream media by focusing on the glaring malpractice of the police force in Ferguson, Missouri and highlighting the immense accomplishments of grassroots organizing, GET LITE uses the art form of Litefeet to frame a conversation on the criminalization of non-white youth in New York city.

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