By Janeé Williams
This is the final weekend you can catch Fred Zafran’s exhibit, “7th and H Streets NW: The hidden Refrain of Inner City D.C.” at The Torpedo Factory Art Centerin Alexandria.
The exhibit showcases 14 images that capture the socioeconomic layers, personalities and “psychological landscape” of a neighborhood, 7th and H street NW.
For a year Fred Zafran found himself interested in the streets of Old Town D.C., also known as Penn Quarter. He is largely an Urban Documentarian/photographer, so this interest wasn’t alien to him. His observations led him to discover three subcultures: the Entertainment corner, Old Chinatown and people living in poverty.
“It’s a really curious mix of culture that creates a very strange presence of place” says Zafran. A culture and presence that he not only wanted to capture, but react to. “I spent a lot of time down there exploring and recording how I felt about the neighborhood. It was more than just a documentary it was my emotional response to what I found in the neighborhood.”
Living in the area for 35 years, Zafran became inspired by how interesting and compelling it is.
“It’s an important historical and cultural area in Washington D.C. and it’s gone through a lot of changes,” Zafran says. “It’s been reborn in many ways making it a wonderful opportunity to explore and document.” His inspiration grew watching “well-to-do people”, people in transition and people in poverty interact and live in the area. On the surface Zafran saw what any person would see, entertainment venues and beautiful restaurants. Underneath the surface, looking closely, he saw cultures transitioning, old culture passing away and new cultures being born and this was compelling.
The exhibit is free and will be finishing up this weekend. Bring your family out to experience a little D.C. culture.
“7th and H Streets NW: The hidden Refrain of Inner City D.C.”
By Fred Zafran
Hours: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Daily
Sunday closing at 3 p.m.
The Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union St., Alexandria