Cheryl Pope - I've Been Heard
During the summer of 2016, Cheryl Pope spent three weeks visiting NYC neighborhood park district basketball courts listening to youth reflect on the importance and impact of streetball.
These conversations shed light on how the game influenced their identity both on and off the court. Pope collected statements generated from these conversations and produced them as official Championship Banners elevating them into championship statements in the series titled I've Been Heard. These voices positioned side by side represent the team of NYC Youth today expressing the importance of the game and its impact on developing both independency and community. Statements such as I AM DEDICATED, I ENCOURAGE PEOPLE, and I GOT FAMILY reveal the values youth define within themselves and for each other.
Public Parks to this day exist as one of the very few remaining spaces that are designed to be democratic: free and open to all.
NYC youth today continue to use these inclusive spaces as an opportunity to self discover while living in a country that seeks to predetermine their destiny. I’VE BEEN HEARD is a celebration of youth voices as they share statements that define the future they are becoming.
Displayed along side the championship banners are five All-American Varsity Letterman Jackets. Each embellished with a youth statement, these limited edition jackets, five of each style, represent the team, the family, and the lessons learned and shared by the young players. Using All-American varsity aesthetics, Pope activates this intersection as an opportunity to bring visibility to the systems that distinguish those we hear and to champion those we don’t / Those we need to.