Dove Springs Recreation Center
With the Dove Springs Recreation Center as an entry point, Deborah S. Esquenazi and Carrie Kenny engaged District Two through their desire to find and share the faces and voices of an often under-heard and under-served population of the city.
Initially engaging through The Portrait Series, the artists created a mobile portrait studio and invited families and individuals to sit for a portrait. Participants then received a printed 5X7 photo to keep as an expression of gratitude for their participation.
Discovered through the The Portrait Series, resident stories were recorded to be told in greater depth and dimension. Capturing the faces, street scenes, and maps of District Two experienced during the artists’ explorations of the area, the footage was shaped into a longer, experimental video piece that became part of a documentary installation. The film Goodbye, Home allowed visitors to hear the voices of the people from the Del Valle and Dove Springs area, enveloping the viewer in the lives and stories of those who call District Two home.
Special thanks to Alberto Martinez, photographer; the staff at the Dove Springs Recreation Center; and Sam Lipman, composer.
Deborah Esquenazi is a documentary film and radio producer, video artist and instructor in Austin, TX. Her films highlight criminal justice and social inequity. Esquenazi’s work has been supported by the Sundance | MacArthur Foundation, Astraea Global Arts Fund, PBS and the Paul Robeson Fund for independent media, among others.
Carrie Kenny is a writer and artist who owns and operates Prizer Gallery where she actively seeks to show the work of individuals and communities not usually exhibited. She co-founded Farmshare Austin.
Carrie Kenny photo credit Alberto Martinez