Finding Dante

Finding Dante
an Artivism Project by Rico Washington and Shino Yanagawa

chashama 1351 Gallery
1351 Amsterdam Avenue
(between West 125th & 126th Streets in Harlem)
New York, NY

February 9 - March 8, 2015

Open Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday, 1-6pm 

Stripped of his private security detail and notoriety, how would New York City mayor Bill de Blasio's biracial teen son Dante theoretically fare in a group of Black & Latino afro-coiffed teen boys approached by the NYPD?

Finding Dante is a photography exhibit and after school program that functions as a platform for the largely absent Black & Latino youth voice in the conversation surrounding recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, Cleveland, Ohio, and Staten Island, New York. The project finds journalist Rico Washington and Shino Yanagawa (creators of We The People: The Citizens of NYCHA in Pictures + Words) "racially profiling" Black and Latino boys with afros in Dante de Blasio's peer group while pulling together community leaders, elected officials, artists, working professionals, and other members of the community to create a uniquely impactful experience. Combining photographic portraits and interactive video interviews of this select group of Dante's peers with a host of instructional public programming focused on the boys and open to the community-at-large, Finding Dante has the profound potential to affect positive change by constructing a dynamic think piece for the city of New York and the nation.

Artist Bios:

Rico Washington
Fordham University alum, Washington, D.C. area native, and East Villager Rico Washington has utilized his diverse writing talents for various platforms. As a journalist who has interviewed celebrities such as Chris Rock, Erykah Badu, and Vin Diesel, his work has appeared in New York Moves, Upscale, Wax Poetics, Okayplayer, and He has composed album liner note essays for CD reissues in the UK by legendary soul icons such as Bill Withers, Natalie Cole, and Deniece Williams. He has also written bios for major label recording artists, Grammy winning songwriters, and Olympic gold medalists. In addition, he has served as a staff writer for XLR8R Magazine and is a teaching artist with Arts Connection.

Shino Yanagawa
Hosei University alum, Tokyo native, and Brooklynite Shino Yanagawa has been avidly pursuing her passion for photography for over a decade. Her photos have appeared in publications such as GQ-Japan, Harper's Bazaar-Japan, Nylon-Japan, and Japanese newspapers Nikkei and Sankei. In 2000, her two-month sojourn to Nepal culminated in the solo photography exhibition The Wind In Nepal in her native Japan. She has photographed celebrities and living legends such as Beyoncé, Ramsey Lewis, Q-Tip, and Roy Ayers. A 2009 photo shoot with seminal Hip-Hop figure Large Professor resulted in a limited edition t-shirt produced by Japanese clothing company Funny.

Front page story in the New York Metro - March 2, 2015

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