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The Queensbridge Photo Collective is a group of female photographers who live at the Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, New York. With over 7,000 residents, the Queensbridge Houses are nation's largest public housing project. The Collective enhanced its photography skills during photo classes taught by teaching artists from 5 Corners Collective, Inc. and offered through the Josephine Herrick Project (JHP) and the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement. It has used those skills to elevate and empower the Queensbridge community.
Alese "Cookie" Parker
Alese "Cookie" Parker is one of 14 children, 12 of whom were boys. She has worked as a nurse’s aide, in electronics technology and and in retail. She moved to the Queensbridge Houses in 1990. She loves sewing and has made wedding dresses, suits and home furnishings. Her faith is very important to Cookie and she considers herself to be a counselor in the Word of God.
Audrey is originally from Brooklyn and has lived in Queensbridge for 31 year. She worked as a counselor helping people struggling with substance abuse. She has a son, a daughter, three grandchildren and one great-grandson. She likes music and art, and has been taking photographs on and off throughout the years. She loves photography because it holds memories and feelings. Audrey believes in and has faith in God through Jesus Christ.
Dorothy Grant was born in Harlem and grew up in Queensbridge. She loves sharing, caring and being creative. Her family, friends, community and faith are very important to her. Her parents attended the Queensbridge Senior Center for over 30 years. She and her sister Shirley volunteer as teachers of creative arts and jewelry making at the Senior Center.
Hazra Rahman was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She married at a young age and moved with her husband to his home village to escape the horrors of Bangladesh’s War of Independence from Pakistan. She and her husband have four children and seven grandchildren. In 1995, her husband moved to the United States in search of a better life for his family. Hazra followed in 2009. The two moved into the Queensbridge Houses in 2011. Hazra feels fortunate to have found friendship and community in Queensbridge.
Janie has been a Queensbridge resident for 64 years. She has 3 amazing daughters and one charming grandson. Janie enjoys helping her community. During the pandemic, she delivered meals to those in need. The people who received the meals thought she was saving them but, in reality, they were saving her by giving her a purpose.
Karen Green has lived in Queensbridge her entire life. Her family moved from Harlem to Queensbridge before she was born. Karen went to nursery school at Queensbridge, and attended P.S. 111, I.S. 204 and the Central Commercial High School, now known as the Norman Thomas High School. Karen worked for New York City for over 40 years in different capacities. Karen has three goddaughters, one grand godson and one great grand godson. She likes to sew, knit, crochet, meditate and socialize with friends.
Marilyn was born in Jamaica, New York, and has lived in Queensbridge for 50 years. In her professional life, Marilyn was an administrative assistant. She has two children, two grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, and one dog – Isis.
Nafisa was born in Manhattan and has lived in Queensbridge for 64 years. She has been taking photographs non-professionally for 45 years. Her other interests include advocating for seniors, event planning, sewing and crocheting. She has two grown sons. Nafisa is very active in her community.
Victoria is a native New Yorker. She has lived in Queensbridge since 1977 and taken photograph all her life. She is an avid reader, and loves dancing, music, travel, sewing and learning new skills that come her way. She recently retired from the NYPD where she worked as a Senior Police Administrative Aide. Victoria is a mother, a grandmother and an individual with an abiding faith and belief in GOD who continually blesses her.
Shirley was born in Harlem, New York, and she has lived in Queensbridge for 40+ years. She has been taking photographs since childhood. Her other interests are drawing, jewelry making, crafting, song writing and more. She worked as a Diagram Artist for clothing pattern companies for 47 years. She is the proud mother of a daughter, and a person who even in these times, is very grateful for her life!
5 Corners Collective Teaching Artists
Nicole is a born and raised New Yorker. Her work has been shown in several group exhibitions in the US, Europe and Cuba and is in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum Library and the SPBH Library. As a teenager in the late 1980’s, she was fascinated by material culture and how it played out on the streets of the city. After earning a BA in Art and Semiotics from Brown University, Nicole photographed for the Associated Press and regularly contributed portraits and photo illustrations to national print magazines. Interested in learning more about narrative within photography, Nicole then earned an MFA from the University of Hartford’s photography program. Nicole currently teaches residents from the Queensbridge Houses in conjunction with the JHP, and she appreciates the perspective, energy and wisdom her students bring to the classroom. (photograph by Victoria Heath)
Robin is an award-winning visual artist and arts educator based in New York City. With a background in law and social justice, she uses her camera to explore issues of identity, place and resilience and their influence upon each other. Sharing her passion for photography with others is fundamental to her work. Dahlberg has taught photography to people of various ages, backgrounds and capabilities. In 2018, she co-founded 5 Corners Collective, a teaching and exhibition collaborative to bring photography to underserved and geographically isolated communities. (photograph by Cookie Parker)
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