Electronic Thesis/Dissertation


Close To U Open Access

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This thesis project connects two individuals with direct ties to the U Street community in the Shaw neighborhood of Northwest Washington, D.C. Weaving together the personal histories and artistic futurist visions of Marquett Milton and Erik Moe, Close to U, embarks on a wondering journey to bridge the past and future as it is lived in the present. The rich history of “Black Broadway” and the American Civil War unexpectedly coexist within the rapid urban architectural development that is changing U Street’s character and its demographics. Inspiring further observation on gentrification of the area in the recent decades, it is these rapid changes bring pieces of the project together. This multimedia documentary reveals a unique view on the ongoing and ever-evolving relationships between residents and urban structures. The project is presented via a dedicated website offering different formats of representation, including the author’s personal perspective on living with and taking inspiration from this culturally and historically rich and complex neighborhood to create this D.C. focused project.

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