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Violette Franchi 

Starrett City

Starrett City documents a 1970s large-scale housing project located in East New York. Being one of Brooklyn’s last non-gentrified neighborhoods, East New York includes Starrett City, the US nation’s largest federally subsidized apartment complex. Opened in 1974 and containing 5,881 apartment units, it is home to 15,000 people distributed across forty-six buildings, ranging from eleven to twenty stories high. The estate, also called Spring Creek Towers or Twin Pines Village in the past, is a place of multiple identities situated along Pennsylvania Avenue.

This visual work intends to give a full sense of place, both urban and domestic, looking at various residents and how they live nearly fifty years after the complex was designed. In a country built on promises, Starrett City uses a typical city landscape to question the American dream and whether it is accessible for all Americans or not. It examines a neighborhood made of towers, contemporary city dwellers, loneliness, countless windows, pride, and everyday odysseys.

Violette Franchi, born in 1995 in Nice, France is a documentary photographer and videographer based in the South of France. She studied architecture in Paris, France and Kansas, USA. In 2015, Franchi discovered photography in the US and documented the Midwest. After becoming an architect, she pursued photography and graduated from the International Center of Photography in New York in 2020. Franchi’s work focuses on the idea of what homes are, in their intimate and public scales, in their abstract and structural forms.

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