I developed a project called Messages to Go and I interviewed 10 out of 26 the Essex Street Market’s vendors. Through my interviews, I learned about their experiences as business owners and I documented their unique perspectives on the role of the market within the neighborhood. From those conversations, I chose quotes, one per vendor, and designed 10 different reusable bags featuring each person that I had an opportunity to speak with. This was done in consultation with the vendors and approved by them before going into production. In the end, we produced 1,500 bags that were given to the vendors and made available to customers at the participating businesses throughout the market. As a result, the bags become part of a larger network of visitors outside of the Market, amplifying the stories and anecdotes featured in their designs.
The City Amplified: Oral Histories and Radical Archives (edited by Allison Guess & Prithi Kanakamedala) is a book of ten commissioned essays by archivists, activists, artists, and historians that reflects the creative and intellectual energy of the City Amplified working group. The essays explore the meaning of community-centered oral history archives and the ethics of archival work, rooted in a local context. The book also includes a detailed resource guide for those looking to start a community oral history project. The book features representatives of community partners such as The Laundromat Project, Interference Archive, Buscada, City Lore, South Asian American Digital Archive, Urban Democracy Lab, New York Public Library, American Social History Project, and others.