Camilo Jose Vergara on Looking at the World Trade Center

View from abandoned pier, Jersey City, New Jersey, 1970.   “All of a sudden you would look around 360 degree angle, and there was the Trade Center.”   Transcript excerpt from New York: The Center of the World, PBS WGBH American Experience Looking at the World Trade Center What was magical for me was that […]

A Conversation with Camilo Jose Vergara

Ransom Gillis Mansion, Alfred at John R Streets, March 2001 “America was supposed to be a country of big buildings, of ever-growing construction of roads, and stuff. And it is; and it is. But in addition to that, there is another America that has all of these things left behind.” Conversation with Ilan Stavans and […]

Camilo Jose Vergara: “The New American Ghetto” (1991)

 Vergara shows exactly what has happened to these neighborhoods. By essentially dumping the new shelters and apartment buildings in devastated, minority neighborhoods on the outskirts of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, Harlem and the Lower East Side, the city was able to avoid many lawsuits from powerful community groups.   By Frederique Krupa, November 21, 1991 […]

CAMILO JOSE VERGARA: “How The Other Half Worships”

St. Rest M.B. Church, 3056-3058 West Polk St., Chicago By Camilo Jose Vergara An excerpt from Camilo Jose Vergara’s postscript to HOW THE OTHER HALF WORSHIPS (Rutgers University Press, 2005): For four years I had been attending Sunday services, Bible school, choir rehearsals, revivals, and anniversaries in the nation’s poorest urban neighborhoods. I attended services […]

INTERVIEW: “Interview with Camilo Jose Vergara” (2007)

Interview with Camilo Jose Vergara By Jesse Serwer What is it about American cities that draws you to document them versus, say, ghettos in other places like your native Chile? CJV: Here is where I live. I can’t just take the bus and go to Mexico. After a while you become interested in what’s around […]