City Paper is not for tourists
In the Vivid Solutions Gallery exhibit “The Invisible Wall: Photographs From East of the River,” Susana Raab investigates what she sees as “the invisible wall we put up between us, often delineated by race and class.” Raab, who’s of Peruvian and European descent, documents people and scenes from Anacostia, where she works at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum. The former New York Times photographer-turned-documentarian took pictures of older residents who lived through race riots, desegregation, and the 1980s crack epidemic, but when she offered to photograph a group of young men, they refused: “No lady, we’re soldiers.” “It’s not every day some crazy woman on the street stops with you a giant antique camera and convinces you to stop what you are doing while she cajoles your life story out of you,” Raab says. Based on her research at the museum and her photographic work, she’s hesitant to draw definitive conclusions, but she says, “I see more clearly how paternalistic and misguided federal oversight resulted in catastrophic urban planning, the breakup of the nuclear family, and the transmission of generational trauma, [creating] a perfect storm in some of these areas.” The exhibition is on view Tuesdays through Fridays noon to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., to August 29, at Vivid Solutions Gallery, 1231 Good Hope Road SE. Free. (202) 365-8392. vividsolutionsgallery.com.