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Encounters and Mishkin Gallery document NYC street life in new zine

Mia Euceda

Baruch College’s Mishkin Gallery and literary magazine Encounters launched its new zine “Commons” on March 1. The zine, or mini magazine, examines street life in New York City and features poetry, prose, photography and 3D art submitted by CUNY students. 

The launch party was part of the gallery’s five-week film program “The Right to the City: Public Space on Film,” which ran from Feb. 26 to March 1.

“I was so excited when [Encounters editor-in-chief] Melani approached us about collaborating on something in relation to this film series,” exhibition curator Alex Tell said. 

“And when I was curating the film series, I was really thinking about all of the different spaces that we share and we occupy that are for the public. So, starting with thinking about CUNY, it’s a public institution. We’re a public university, thinking about the sidewalks and the different people that you see in the subway parks and all of the various encounters that we might have with people as we’re passing by, and also the sort of political issues that come up with that.”

The zine includes work from eight students from various CUNY campuses. “Commons” is Encounters’ second zine to date and the first time it opened submissions to all CUNYs. 

Queens College photography major Sidney Hans said he was excited to see his street portraits published for the first time.

“I like to freeze people’s moments when I take their picture,” Hans told The Ticker. “I hope they convey the human condition.”

The zine’s vibrant spreads are filled with graffiti-inspired typography, shots of NYC landscapes and street life as well as descriptions of the commonalities between New Yorkers.

“We’ve all seen the food vendors on the sidewalk, the halal carts selling delicious plates and the college student shooting a music video amongst the bustle,” the zine’s introduction reads. “We decided to delve deeper and further into these narratives and provide more insight on what it means for people and businesses alike to be shaped by a city.”

Economics major Vedanti Amin’s titular essay argues that despite the varying viewpoints andbackgrounds that make up the city, New Yorkers can all agree on one thing: The public transportation system is smelly and inefficient.

Christopher Clarke’s photo essay “What Does it Mean to be a New Yorker?” catalogs the city’s contributions to fashion and streetwear. The series captures recognizable trends like North Face puffer jackets, fitted brim caps and baggy cargo jeans.

Mishkin Gallery’s latest program consisted of a five-week film series that focused on NYC architecture, culture and the use of public space. Each week focused on a different theme and was accompanied by a film discussion. “Public Space on Film” was curated by Alexandra Tell and consisted of documentaries, short films and stop-motion projects.

The gallery will present its next exhibition, “Taxonomies of Power: Photographic Encounters at the State Silk Museum, Tbilisi,” on March 21 from 6 – 8 p.m. and will be on display through June 7. 

The collection was curated by Feldman and Mariam Shergelashvili, a curator at the State Silk Museum in the country of Georgia. It consists of 47 monochrome historic photographs from the silk museum and explores how Soviet artists interpreted the snowy larva.

Editor’s Note: Melani Bonilla, The Ticker’s multimedia editor, is the Editor-in-Chief of Encounters. Razia Islam, The Ticker’s science and technology editor, is part of Encounters’ masthead. They had no involvement in the editorial process for this article.

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About the Contributors
Mia Euceda
Mia Euceda, Arts & Culture Editor
Mia Euceda is the Arts and Culture Editor of The Ticker.
Jahlil Rush
Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant
Jahlil Rush is a Production Assistant for The Ticker.
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