In a small corner of Washington’s Southeast quadrant sits a community nexus where blends the likes of professional basketball players and Washington politicians with local residents, fried fish and hip-hop on summer evenings: the George Goodman League, formerly known as Barry Farms. In this space it’s not uncommon to see NBA star and D.C. native Kevin Durant sitting among spectators, or Education Secretary Arne Duncan suited up in a bright orange jersey.

In the summer of 2013, photographer Jared Soares discovered the famous courts and spent most of his nights taking the bus to Anacostia, an area that grapples with a reputation of poverty, but a place on the verge of gentrification and all the changes that brings. As an avid basketball fan, Soares initially just set out to enjoy and document a weekly tournament, but instead he found a narrative that showed a tight-knit community constituted by a mix of races, ages, economic status and backgrounds, all bound by a love for the game of hoops.

Streetball tournaments played in the long-standing George Goodman League have, for 39 years, been a way for the youth of the neighborhood to channel their energy into sports and away from tough situations outside the gates. Admission is free, and each night there is potential to watch professional, college and high school players hone their skills. “The more time I spent, the more I realized that there was an opportunity to use photographs about the league to suggest ideas about more universal issues with the emphasis being on community. The fans and the personalities that surround the action on the court blend together to form a portrait of a set of people for the three hottest months of the year,” says Saores.

Barry Farms will be on exhibit at Vivid Solutions gallery in Washington from September 12 thru October 2014 and Jared will also give a talk on October 18th. Details at the bottom of this post.

All photos by Jared Soares

Vivid Solutions Gallery inside The Anacostia Arts Center
1231 Good Hope Road SE
Washington, DC 20020
The Farms | Jared Soares
Exhibition Dates: September 12 – October 31
Opening Reception: September 12 from 69pm
Artist Talk: October 18, 1:00pm