Raafi Riveroimages and ideas

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Raafi Rivero is a filmmaker and photographer based in Brooklyn, NY. Click here for professional inquiries.

These missives have been posted at varying intervals since 2006 when “moblogging” was a thing. Please explore work and ideas here, elsewhere, or on the social platform of your choice:

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I wrote a lengthy post on social media outlining the separate but intertwined history of Unarmed with my film 72 Hours, please read it. In brief, I’ll say that having the top cultural institution in Brooklyn stage an outdoor screening of my film – a screening where I’ll also present the art project I’ve been nursing along these seven years – is a dream scenario. There were a couple missed connections with BAM along the way, which makes this all the more sweet.

Thanks to the team at FABFulton, with an assist from Curtis at The Luminal Theater, for making this happen.

See you on Thursday.

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I posted the first Unarmed jersey to social media in August 2013 after Trayvon Martin’s killer went unpunished. That’s seven years of this shit. 14 jerseys, so far. We’ll be moving into production soon. For updates on the project visit unarmed.co.

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We installed the full suite of Unarmed jerseys on Lafayette Street between Houston and Canal this past Friday. See pics of the entire run here, or, better yet, head over to Manhattan to see them in person.

UPDATE – The SoHo installation was recently covered in Yahoo Sports and Design Observer.

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These are dark times for the empire. UNARMED made its public debut on Flatbush Avenue last week. Installing the prints and seeing the reaction of fellow Brooklynites was among the most gratifying experiences I’ve had as an artist. Over the weekend another black man was killed by a police officer, this time in Atlanta. The killing of Rayshard Brooks, 27, comes right on the heels of the news of the hanging deaths of Robert Fuller, 24, and Malcolm Harsh, 38, a week before that. It’s all a bit much. Making these pieces is part of my own healing process and I hope that can be true for others.

UPDATE – ABC7 NY ran a story about Unarmed on Thursday:

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Believe me, the last thing I’d rather be doing right now is designing another jersey and posting it on this website. I started this project in 2013. That’s a lot of tears spilled over Adobe Illustrator. A lot of marches and grief. And so I let a few go by – Walter Scott, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor – sounds so callous, doesn’t it? But isn’t that what we all do?

Three of the jerseys appeared in my film 72 Hours: a Brooklyn Love Story? – isn’t that enough?

Last year around this time I interviewed Dr. Tiffany Crutcher, Terence Crutcher’s twin sister, for a documentary I was directing about a separate topic related to race. The Terence Crutcher jersey was the last one I designed in this series, four years ago, on my birthday. Dr. Crutcher spoke powerfully in our interview about how she didn’t want her life to be about her brother’s killing, but how we must find the strength to raise our voices in the midst of pain.

And so my fingers quiver once again as I select fonts and Google details – did George Floyd have a nickname? where should it appear on the jersey? Bullets were easier to make into a design motif – stars – but how does one represent a knee and the crushing weight of racism? With a glyph? A line weight?


That is the motto of the Minneapolis Police Department. If you didn’t know that, know this. George Floyd – Big Floyd – was UNARMED.

Full project archive at unarmed.co #BlackLivesMatter

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According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Achilles tendon can withstand more than 1000 pounds of pressure. On June 10th, 2019, the Achilles tendon of basketball star Kevin Durant snapped during game 5 of the NBA finals. I believe that the Internet snapped it, a month after it took down another colossus, HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Read full essay here.

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This film documents the installation of Into the Woods, which was created for the International Garden Festival at Domaine Chaumont-sur-Loire. In making the film I asked design principals Matt Donham and Phoebe Lickwar to voice their creative choices in building it, and some of the larger ideas at play in the field of landscape architecture. Last, I wanted the film to feel like an exchange with the garden, which unfolds to a visitor in its own time.

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