In 1984, Tria Giovan moved to a tenement building on Clinton Street on New York City’s Lower East Side. She wandered the streets photographing as if in a foreign land. Loisaida— as some knew it—was as gritty, authentic and humble as it was exotic, vibrant and colourful. The melding cultures and humanity she encountered inspired these photographs.

Giovan left the neighbourhood and the work behind in 1990 without ever editing or producing the majority of the photographs. The negatives languished until the pandemic. Now, the work has now been collated in a new publication from Damiani Books. Tria Giovan: Loisaida New York Street Work 1984–1990 is a time capsule; a cultural and historical record of a 1980s Lower East Side that fostered robust communities of diverse populations, including the many immigrants who took pride in making Loisaida their home, and contributes to an historical visual legacy of the ever-evolving, always evocative Lower East Side.

The photography of Tria Giovan (born 1961, raised in the Caribbean) has been defined by in- depth, timely, and thoughtful subject exploration that intertwines the personal and the observational. A documentarian with archival intentions, she is the author of Cuba: The Elusive Island (1996), Sand Sea Sky (2012), The Cuba Archive (2017) and Loisaida (2023). Exhibited in the US and internationally, her photographs are held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Library of Congress, the Museum of the City of New York, and the New York Public Library.

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