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The work of Allen and others resists easy classification, but UnionDocs offers public programming in the form of nonfiction film screenings, multimedia performances and video lectures; workshops in everything from filmmaking to site-specific sound installations; and collaborative projects, like their multi-platform “Living Los Sures” project, using film, online media, and live events to document their own changing neighborhood. It’s an esoteric, experimental, community-focused space—and it’s working to keep Williamsburg that way, as well. What are...
From April 15-21, the Metrograph will host a restoration of Diego Echeverria's 1984 documentary Los Sures, a vital portrait of the predominantly Puerto Rican lower-income neighborhood of Southside Williamsburg. The film has been restored by the Williamsburg nonprofit center for documentary art UnionDocs, and it inspired their wide-ranging, community-based documentary project Living Los Sures. Among the strands of Living Los Sures are a number of short documentaries about the neighborhood. In cooperation with UnionDocs,...
There's only one "cultural hip-storian" in all of Brooklyn, and if you find yourself at the right underground warehouse, rave, or music venue on a Friday night, chances are that you may run into her. In fact, Oriana Leckert has spent years in Brooklyn's creative underbelly, seeking out the coolest DIY-spaces, passion projects, and eclectic venues that made this borough scrappy and edgy before it became (unironically) its own brand. Leckert's recently published book, Brooklyn...
Gentrification anxiety may be all over Williamsburg (and beyond), but it’s nowhere to be found in Diego Echevarria’s 1983 documentary Los Sures. Back then, this particular pocket of Brooklyn—bracketed between the East River and Union Avenue, sandwiched above the Hasidic neighborhood and below Metropolitan—was the dominion of some of New York’s very poorest, the majority of them Puerto Rican. Many of Echevarria’s interviewees talk about leaving the neighborhood with breathless anticipation, but the Latino...

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