Dasani


“I’m not afraid to die. To me, dying is a kindness actually because if I die on this earth, you relieve me of the pain from living through life, because life is painful,” says Dasani.


It was 2013 when Dasani moved to Barry Farm with her family.

“I thought this was the worst place in the world and I could not believe my mom would bring us to this hood,” Dasani recalls. “But I was excited to have my own room.”

Though she didn’t have a bed – and wouldn’t have one for a year – she was glad to have a place to rest her head. She was 12 years old and knew living in Barry Farm was better than the alternative. Her room became her oasis.

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America is facing an affordable housing crisis. In Washington, D.C., 47,000 families are on a closed waiting list to receive affordable housing. Some have waited over 25 years, yet affordable, public housing such as Barry Farm continues to be demolished. Today the neighborhood is set to be torn down and redeveloped into mixed-income housing under the 2005 New Communities Initiative, leaving resident families in limbo.


Barry Farm is a multimedia project that documents the impacts of D.C.'s gentrification and the thriving community Barry Farm residents have created for themselves despite their uncertain futures. The work here entitled Legacy Project is a portrait series documenting the last residents of Barry Farm through medium and large format film photography.


www.barryfarmproject.com

Zion


“Barry Farm is really fun. They have a Rec Center and a pool and a playground and a football field. Me, Dylan, Chase, and George play football in the field. I’ve lived here for 8 years. I like it.”

In Barry Farm, kids burn Hot Cheetos with cigarette lighters, throw rocks, and trespass onto the large football field to go on their next adventure. They play with abandon. They pull each other’s hair. They ride their bikes against a golden sky with the Washington Monument standing clear in the background. Football – and occasionally dodgeball – is their game of choice. Mostly, they run around in the dirt. They wrestle. They run. They cry.

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Dylan


"I think Barry Farms is bad because people like to kill and people like to mess with people. My dream? I want to live in a mansion.” 

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Elizabeth


"I want people to know the struggle we went through in this hood. We had no mon-ey. Let me tell you this song. We had no money, no jobs, no car, nothing. We had to sell Gatorade on the end of the street next to Rite Aid and keep buying stuff in the store."


Elizabeth recalls standing outside the Gallery Place Metro Station with her parents and seven siblings holding up a cardboard sign. In good times, they got enough money to rent a hotel room. In bad times, they had to sleep in a van on the streets. By 2013, Elizabeth’s father was incarcerated. The rest of the family found their way to Barry Farm. 

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Paulette (1/2)


“When people think about public housing, everyone stereotypes people. Everything has a label. Low-income. Middle income. This and that. That’s where the problem comes in. People don’t even know people but because of their zip code, they just assume the worst of the worst. The thing is, sometimes in the deep trenches, there are so many rich diamonds."

Paulette is an activist. She’s lived in Barry Farm for over 20 years. 

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Paulette (2/2) 

"Martin Luther King had a dream. He had a dream, and no one seems to want to make that dream a reality. I don’t think I’ll ever see it cuz I’ve never seen it and I’m getting ready to 59 in February. I’ve never seen equal rights and justice for all. I’ve never. And why is it so hard to be able to do that? Why is it that you cannot enforce equal rights and justice for all?”


Paulette is an activist. She’s lived in Barry Farm for over 20 years. 

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George

"We're going to move out. We just don't know when." George is a third generation Barry Farm resident.

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George
Written by George and his brother after their father passed.


“It was your time"


It’s never the right time
To say goodbye.
I will miss you, Dad,
And here is why.
You taught me so much:
To show no fear,
To always have fun,
And face the day with cheer.

You were always so able,
So fast and so strong.
In your little boy’s eyes
You could do no wrong.
You would always listen,
And you never cried.
You were the arms around me
When I cried.

You never looked for praises,
And you were never one to boast.
You were always there
For those you loved the most.

You worked so hard,
And those strong working hands
Led me through life
And helped me understand
That life can be hard,
And tough, and sad,
But through it all
I had my Dad.

And because of you,
I understood
That life was actually
Pretty good.
I believe in you
And will follow your path,
And when things go wrong,
I'll look back and laugh.

I hope you can hear me
So I can let you know
That you were and will forever
Be my superhero.
So yes, today
I am full of sorrow,
But I will smile a little more
With each tomorrow.

So please, Dad, go
Be at rest
And know to me
You were always the best.

I love you so much and miss you every day!
By Weary Boys 

Mickey


"My grandmother named me Mickey because I used to snatch all the cheese in the house. Tomorrow will be 16 years since my mother passed. We were so close. We were like brother and sister." 

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Ave


"Being a mom.. Being a mom is wonderful. I get my strength from them. They made me who I am. I had to be that tough person, so that I could protect them in a sense that I feel like no one protected me when I was growing up. So I'm that werewolf in sheep's clothing type of mother - very nice on the outside but if you mess with one of my kids, my fangs come out. I love my babies. They helped me grow."

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Dre

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Calvin

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Sean

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James

"My mother moved here in 1962.

I was 3 years old.
She moved here to get her first start.

My mother was an independent woman.
She was a single parent.
She made her struggle from here,
and we made it."

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