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an apology

Posted by Jacques-Jean Tiziou (Creator)
I'm sorry
I'm sorry

 Dear friends,

Please forgive me for that last update – it was inappropriate.

Clearly I'm feeling a lot of urgency and anxiety about the situation, but lashing out with frantic internet outreach & cluttering your inbox & already busy minds with senseless appeals is selfish & not of service.

I'm working on some more thoughtful local organizing... and on keeping my swirling mind in check.

Wherever this finds you, I wish you well & am grateful for you.

-jj

All hands on deck! (neighbor situation)

Posted by Jacques-Jean Tiziou (Creator)

Beautiful ones, it's been a while.

Everyone is still photogenic, but not everyone has the same opportunities, and not everyone gets treated the same.

My dear beautiful elder neighbor Mr Al (~81yrs old), who's lived on my block in the same apartment building for ~50 years, has just been told that he has until Nov 30 to move out because his building must be sold. (Nevermind that he thinks that his lease is good till Dec 31st)

The building is coincidentally (or not) the only building on our block that houses primarily lower income people of color. The activity around the potential sale has felt pretty shady over the last few weeks, and I recently found the listing which feels violent and predatory:

"All but two of the units are on month-to-month leases allowing the new buyer to vacate the units immediately after settlement or turn them over periodically."

This is capitalism at its worst. Investors caring only about financial return rather than social impact. And it's not just Mr. Al that it will hurt (he might have moved anyways as aging alone becomes more difficult... but not on such notice w/o options) – it's all of our neighbors in the building, and the rest of our block.

The building definitely needs investment and attention, but this could be done in a gradual, thoughtful way, with incremental repairs, and allowing current residents to remain as long as they want while vacant units get fancied up and move-in market rate tenants. But God forbid that people of different socioeconomic statuses should share space together...

This breaks my heart.

I am looking for:

a) someone with a big pile of wealth (I know you're out there in my network somewhere) who would be interested in buying the building & either doing responsible compassionate development with it (longer, harder, costs more but worth it for our world) – or gifting it to a nonprofit housing agency / land trust that could administer it in a similarly compassionate way.

b) neighbors who want to support the residents in whatever way they want to be supported. That might mean fighting to keep them in the building, or that might mean looking out for them & supporting them in transition to new homes.

c) support for my own organizing and advocacy as block captain. I'm not sure yet but I'm thinking that Thanksgiving might be a good time for a hunger fast in support of our neighbors. One thing for sure is if this goes down the way the current realtor & developer want, it won't go down unnoticed. We were already organizing a block meeting for Nov 18, but now that the timeline's accelerated, I'm looking to see if we can do something else sooner. We may need press contacts, we may need fundraising, and we might need a flurry of phone calls / social media attention etc.

I want to keep my own desire to rush into this in check somewhat and defer to the desires of the residents, so I'll keep you posted.

On one hand, there are some things that are inevitable. On the another hand, when our most vulnerable neighbors are being threatened, it is not the time to be complacent.

If you have resources to share and/or would be interested in updates about this situation specifically, please drop me a line at jj@jjtiziou.net.

Thank you, -jj

An invite for you & photogenic friends in Philly

Posted by Jacques-Jean Tiziou (Creator)
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For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.

What does a Yogi look like?

Posted by Jacques-Jean Tiziou (Creator)
Details & RSVP
Details & RSVP

Hey there beautiful ones!

You are invited:

Please join us for a community discussion on yoga, diversity, body image, public art, media & commerce, followed by an optional community photo session.

Your insights will help shape a new yoga-focused photographic series based on my How Philly Moves project.

This free event will be hosted at Drexel University’s Mandell Theater at 10am on Saturday July 18th.

RSVP / share

Please use the RSVP link if you’re able to join, and help us share the invitation with anyone that you think would be interested in joining the conversation and/or participating in the project.

You can also download a high res jpeg or pdf of the flyer to share with friends, share the invite via a Facebook event, and follow updates via Twitter.

You can also find some more background on the project in this post.

Hope this finds you well!
-jj

Concerts in Florida & Philly + images for you.

Posted by Jacques-Jean Tiziou (Creator)
1 like
2008: Truth Tour victory celebration at House of Blues in Chicago
2008: Truth Tour victory celebration at House of Blues in Chicago

Dear beautiful ones,

Almost 8 years ago, I found myself photographing a pretty amazing concert as the Coalition of Immokalee Workers celebrated another victory in their campaign for Fair Food. 

They've always been pretty great about integrating art and music in their activism, and I thought that you might like to know about their Parade & Concert for Fair Food happening this weekend. 

Some of you will no doubt already be heading there – others might want to make a little contribution to the CIW to help them fly in more of their allies from around the country.

If you can't make it to Florida but would like to join a musical celebration in Philadelphia, you'd be most welcome to the house concert that I'm hosting on Saturday. (Next ones after that are April 25 and June 12) 

Among other things that I'm celebrating: the launch of my Million Picture Giveaway

That means that all of those images that you guys helped me make back in 2013 will be available for free high res downloads

Not just those 10,000+ images that I made with your help, but my entire archive covering the CIW's work from Dec 2003 onwards, and all of the other images that I've ever taken of anyone. You probably know some folks that this would benefit, so I'd love your help in spreading the word about it. 

In the meanwhile, here's a few more images from that historic celebration in 2007 are below. 

 For a recap of that special day with more images, click here.