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100 Words: Jaime Permuth On The 'Yonkeros'

by Jaime Permuth
Nov 26, 2010

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Jaime Permuth

Willets Point, Queens is a little-known enclave of New York City that is home to dozens of junkyards and scrap metal businesses. Hence the term 'yonkeros,' a Spanglish derivative of "junk," conjugated grammatically to refer to people who engage in this line of work.

Willets Point is fighting for survival, faced with New York City's grim determination to see it shut down and redeveloped. This ongoing series of photographs is both an appeal and a eulogy.

But above all else, Willets Point is a vast inventory of parts and, like all catalogues, it is also a poem.

Jaime Permuth is a Guatemalan photographer based in New York City.  His work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally.  He is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts and at the International Center for Photography.

"100 Words" is a series in which photographers describe their work, in their own words. Curated by Graham Letorney

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