About the event

The Right to the City Film Series features five films based on changing urban landscapes near and far: in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Newark, Detroit and Istanbul. The films focus on issues of processes of urban development defined by inequality—expulsions, redevelopment, and gentrification—and their results.

Branch Brook Park Roller Rink, located in Newark, NJ, is one of the few remaining urban rinks of its kind. This concrete structure is nestled in a public park bordered by public housing and a highway. Upon first glance, the exterior resembles a fallout shelter; however, the streamers and lights of the interior are reminiscent of 1970s roller discos. This 55 minute documentary depicts a space cherished by skaters and a city struggling to move beyond its past and forge a new narrative amidst contemporary social issues.

The screening will be followed by Q&A with filmmakers Sarah Friedland and Ryan Joseph and discussion with Justice Professor Calvin John Smiley (Montclair University) moderated by CUNY scholar Brenden Beck.

Cosponsored by the Sociology, Earth and Environmental Sciences, and Critical Psychology Departments; the Center for Place, Culture and Politics; the Center for Urban Research; the Gotham Center for New York City History; the Center for Human Environments; and The Public Science Project; the Narrating Change Mellon Seminar on Public Engagement and Collaborative Research.