carbeque aftermath - july 20th, 2008

series information

Early morning on July 20th, 2008, around 1 am, I was riding my bike back from a friend's place when I saw some kids lighting what I thought was a firecracker in the middle of my street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. When I rode a little closer, the suspect kids were walking down the block, leaving me to find something on fire underneath a parked truck. Still thinking it was a firecracker, I decided it would be best to not ride past the truck, and to try to find the kids responsible (with no success). When I approached my block from the other side a few minutes later, the truck was completely engulfed in flames. The fire department was called by a passerby because I became way too panicked to do much of anything for the truck on fire was not only on my block, it was pretty much right in front of my building. A few excruciating minutes later, the fire department arrived and put out the four story high flames, complete with exploding tires and cracking windows. Word began to spread that it was a mattress that was lit on fire and shoved underneath the truck that caused that evening's inferno. My heart sunk with this information, as I had just gotten a new bed that afternoon, and had the deliverymen put my 19 year old mattress on the sidewalk to be picked up by a municipality, and not to be used as fuel to burn down my neighborhood.

These photographs are not only a document of the aftermath of a random violent event in a relatively quiet Brooklyn neighborhood, but they represent a deep rooted fear of the potential annihilation of one's own living space. Thankfully, no one was hurt. The fire only penetrated the truck, a minivan parked in front of the truck, the exterior of two of the buildings, and of course my poor old mattress and box spring. What is left of this incident is a psychological stain; whereas I cannot speak for my neighbors, it definitely affected me and the way I think about my space and my possessions in that space, and that of my own well being.

all images @ 1996 - 2015 Abigail Feldman, all rights reserved