Even as power has returned to large swathes of Manhattan, neighborhoods like the Rockaways remain in chaos, with hundreds of residents left homeless by wind and water damage, swathes of its waterfront boardwalk eradicated, and entire blocks decimated by the fires that swept Breezy Point. Brooklyn-based artists and documentarians Alex Braverman and Poppy de Villeneuve traveled to the area from Fort Greene on Friday and assembled the following video to draw attention to the still-dire situation, inspired by a phone message from a friend, Michelle, a Rockaways resident, whose voice serves as the clip's narration.
"What struck us most was the human impact, this massive loss and property damage," Braverman explained in an interview with ARTINFO today. Added Villeneuve, "We went into homes where entire basements had been wiped out ... people were bathing their children in hot water without any towels or blankets, to keep them warm. I don't think people fully realized how severe it was." Though recovery efforts have sped up somewhat since power has been restored and news of the destruction made its way to the public eye, Braverman urges people to stay involved: "That area needs everything it can get from us in donations and support."
To see Alex Braverman and Poppy de Villeneuve's "Rockaway Needs Us," click on the video below: