2010 - 2014

The Red Line D.C. Project

The Red Line D.C. Project

Identity, art & a city in transit.

The Red Line D.C. Project is a community-based documentary project about illegal art and public space. With the Washington metro as our backdrop, a fifteen minute ride along the Northeast portion of the Red line metro represents the changing face of the city.

B&W Red Line D.C. Logo, Saaret Yoseph, Cory Stowers, 2013-06-01, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Graphic Red Line D.C. Logo, Saaret Yoseph, Cory Stowers, 2013-06-01, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Red Line D.C. Logo, Saaret Yoseph, Cory Stowers, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
SEE / LINE DVD Cover, Saaret Yoseph, Robel Kassa, 2014-11-01, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Expect Delays, Saaret Yoseph, 2014, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project

THE 

RED LINE

Metro Map, 2, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
No One Beyond This Point, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Which Direction?, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Which Direction?, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project

STORY = SETTING

The RED LINE is the oldest line within the Metro rail system. It opened on March 27, 1976, and at the time, only ran from Rhode Island Avenue to Farragut North. Today, there are 27 stops along the route. SEE / LINE focuses on the outdoor segment that runs toward Glenmont.

The METROPOLITAN-BRANCH TRAIL (MBT) broke ground by Rhode Island Avenue station in the summer of 2009. The stretch between New York Avenue and Franklin Street, featured prominently in the film, is part of an 8-mile path paralleling the B&O Railroad, that will eventually run from Union Station to Silver Spring.

MURALS DC was established in 2007 as a way to abate illegal graffiti with city-sanctioned public art. The Department of Public Works, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities and nonprofit organization Words Beats and Life, Inc. are responsible for many of the legal works cropping up along the Red line.

No Trespassing, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Ultra, Saaret Yoseph, Asad ULTRA Walker, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Two Tracks, Saaret Yoseph, 2013, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project

Is D.C. metro graffiti nothing more than “visual litter” or cause for conversation in transit? We interviewed stakeholders on opposing tracks to create a unique conversation around illegal public art.

Between Two Tracks, Saaret Yoseph, 2013, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
B&W Brookland Station, Saaret Yoseph, 2003, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Brookland in Color, Saaret Yoseph, 2014, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Aera & Jake, Saaret Yoseph, Aera, Jake, 2000/2008, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
This early Red Line D.C. video features an interview excerpt with JU, a D.C. graffiti writer who inspired director / producer, Saaret Yoseph to start her documentary project. 

THE 

WRITERS

See Something, Write Something, Saaret Yoseph, Fame, Grave, 2012-02-22, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
GRAVE surveys his work, while his partner FAME paints his own name in the background.
Grave Up Close, Saaret Yoseph, Fame, Grave, 2012-02-22, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
It's after midnight and graffiti writer GRAVE is at work on the Red line.
Grave Up Close, Again, Saaret Yoseph, Fame, Grave, 2012-02-22, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project

For decades, “the Line” has been like a rite of passage for graffiti writers practicing the tradition and promoting their public name.

Grave Up Close, Again, Saaret Yoseph, Fame, Grave, 2012-02-22, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Grave at Work, Saaret Yoseph, Fame, Grave, 2012-02-22, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project

“I hit the Red line so I can be known ... There's so many ways to get on the Line, so many ways. You just gotta find 'em."

-- FAME

"I always go to Rhode Island, Brookland station, Takoma ... Silver Spring, because they have endless spots -- walls for days ... And, I'm a graffiti writer, so I hit 'em.

-- GRAVE

In Their Shoes, Saaret Yoseph, Fame, Grave, 2012-02-22, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Grave at Work, Saaret Yoseph, Fame, Grave, 2012-02-22, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Blurred Face Beneath the Bridge, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
This teaser clip gives a glimpse of SEE / LINE, the final product of The Red Line D.C. Project. The short, two-part documentary uses interviews with Red line riders and graffiti writers to explore the meaning of everyday aesthetics in the capital city.

THE

RIDERS

Away from the Window, Saaret Yoseph, 2012, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project

How do commuters regard the the view outside their window?

For Lease, Saaret Yoseph, Ju, Sumoe, Pear, Gobe, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Uline Graffiti, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
JU's name was one of many that were once visible on the rooftop arches of the building. 
When It Was New York Avenue, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Window View, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Sean Taylor, Saaret Yoseph, Cert, 2007, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Rabbit's Foot, 2000/2008, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Grave in Green, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Amen, Saaret Yoseph, Amen, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Michael Jackson Piece, Saaret Yoseph, Ju, 2000/2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Ju's Graduation Bear, Saaret Yoseph, Ju, 2000/2008, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Nehi & Cert, Saaret Yoseph, Cert, Nehi, 2000/2008, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Cert & Nehi, Saaret Yoseph, Cert, Nehi, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Pear Multi-Colored, Saaret Yoseph, Pear, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Pear & Co., Saaret Yoseph, Pear, Roes, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Geek, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Cover & Roes Out the Window, Saaret Yoseph, Cover, Roes, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Graffiti & Litter, Saaret Yoseph, Roes, Cover, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project

THE 

TRAIL

Pedestrians Crossing, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
MBT Sign, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
MBT Amid Overgrowth, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project

NIGHT & DAY -- Change comes to Northeast via the Metropolitan-Branch Trail, a pedestrian pathway being developed, between Union Station and Silver Spring. With it, we see an increase in buffed graffiti, commissioned murals and people accessing the Red line's surrounding space.

Box Car Graffiti, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Buffed Walls, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
MBT by Franklin St. Bridge, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
View of the Metropolitan-Branch Trail (MBT) by Rhode Island Ave. metro station. Fading graffiti is visible on the back wall while the new colors of a legal art piece are present in the foreground.
Pear, Saaret Yoseph, Pear, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
NSF, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Graffiti Through the Fence, Saaret Yoseph, Pear, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Nori & Pa, Saaret Yoseph, Nori, Pa, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Tony the Tiger Piece, Saaret Yoseph, Che, Ju, Jake, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Tony the Tiger Piece, 3, Saaret Yoseph, Che, Ju, Jake, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Tony the Tiger Piece, 2, Saaret Yoseph, Che, Ju, Jake, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Tony the Tiger Piece, 4, Saaret Yoseph, Ju, Che, Jake, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Asun Goes Over, Saaret Yoseph, Huf, Asun, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Peace is Not Easy, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Peace is Not Easy, 2, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project

"... with regards to the graffiti, it's a little bit different, because the District owns the trail, but we don't own the buildings, these buildings belong to someone else ...

-- HEATHER DEUTSCH, urban planner

We know that, typically, wherever we put a mural, we know that's one less wall that will be tagged.

-- NANCEE LYONS, D.C. Dept. of Public Works

Just Graffiti?, Saaret Yoseph, Asun, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Sime Piece, Saaret Yoseph, Sime, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Bubble Letters, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Gobe '09, Saaret Yoseph, Gobe, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Two Tall Tahoe, Saaret Yoseph, Two Tall Tahoe, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
DLO, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Caver, Saaret Yoseph, Caver, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Graffiti at Crossroads, Saaret Yoseph, 2014, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Caution Tape, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Work in Progress, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
From Edgewood to the Edge of the World, Saaret Yoseph, 2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Hope Defaced, 2, Saaret Yoseph, Aniekan Udofia, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Hope Defaced, Saaret Yoseph, Aniekan Udofia, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Hope Defaced, 2, Saaret Yoseph, Aniekan Udofia, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
A defaced "HOPE" mural, by Rhode Island Ave metro station, sits below the Franklin St. bridge. 
Movement Mural, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Hondo Coffee Mural, Saaret Yoseph, 2012, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Change Gears Mural, 3, Saaret Yoseph, Asad ULTRA Walker, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Change Gears Mural, 4, Saaret Yoseph, Asad ULTRA Walker, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Change Gears Mural, Saaret Yoseph, Asad ULTRA Walker, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Change Gears Mural, 2, Saaret Yoseph, Asad ULTRA Walker, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Mural on the MBT, Saaret Yoseph, 2012, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Half-buffed wall between Rhode Island Ave. and New York Ave. metro station. Layers of paint cover a mural once done by a nearby arts therapy center. The expansive "Crossroads" mural done in the summer of 2014, includes a tribute to the center, done by Cita "Chelove" Cadeli.
Crossroads Mural, 2, Saaret Yoseph, Cita CHELOVE Sadeli, 2014, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Crossroads Mural, Saaret Yoseph, Cita CHELOVE Sadeli, 2014, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Chelove at Work, Cita CHELOVE Sadeli, 2014, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Crossroads Mural, 3, Saaret Yoseph, Coby Kennedy, Cita CHELOVE Sadeli, Maxx Moses, 2014, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Before the Mural, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Don't Be a Clown, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Before the Mural, 2, Saaret Yoseph, 2011, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Spray Can Down, Saaret Yoseph, Drew Liverman, 2000/2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Art Supplies, Saaret Yoseph, 2000/2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Drew Liverman, Saaret Yoseph, Drew Liverman, 2000/2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
Aquatic-Themed Mural, Saaret Yoseph, Drew Liverman, 2000/2010, From the collection of: The Red Line D.C. Project
A local resident happens upon a mural in progress while biking on the MBT. He shares his thoughts on the legal work, versus that of illegal graffiti.
Credits: Story

Director / Producer — Saaret E. Yoseph

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not represent the views of the institutions whose collections include the featured works or of Google Arts & Culture.
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