Creative Time


River Years is a Black Gotham Expe­ri­ence audio tour written by Kamau Ware, commissioned by Creative Time and Governors Island Arts on the occasion of Moving Chains, chapter two of Charles Gaines’s The American Manifest. River Years explores the colonial patterns that have informed a cen­turies-long rela­tion­ship with what are known today as the East River, the Hud­son River, and New York Har­bor.
Starting from the ferry terminal at Soissons Landing and ending at the base of Outlook Hill, River Years pulls out key moments in New York history that ask, what is the transatlantic slave trade to a river?

Audio Tour

Click below to access audio tours and transcripts for each site. Transcript translations are available on each page in Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian, and Haitian Creole.
Las traducciones de las transcripciones están disponibles en cada página en español, chino simplificado, ruso y criollo.
Перевод стенограммы доступен на каждой странице на испанском, упрощенном китайском, русском и креольском языках.
Tradiksyon transkripsyon yo disponib sou chak paj an Panyòl, Chinwa Senplifye, Ris ak Kreyòl.



Soissons Landing


Chapter I: they say

Carder Road, exiting the ferry dock


Chapter II: ice

Carder Road at W Ferry Line Road


Chapter III: bodies

Craig Road at Clayton Road


Chapter IV: light

Craig Road North at Division Road


Chapter V: river years

Outlook Hill and Moving Chains



Moving Chains

About Black Gotham Experience

Established in 2010 by artist/historian Kamau Ware, Black Gotham Expe­ri­ence creates media at the intersection of scholarship and aesthetics that illustrates the impact of the African Diaspora missing from collective consciousness as well as the public square. We reimagine the spaces directly impacted by the African Diaspora as human stories explored through interactive walks, talks, events, and art. The heart of these experiences are five core stories that revisit Manhattan in 1623 and move forward through three centuries: Other Side of Wall Street, Sarah’s Fire, Caesar’s Rebellion, Citizen Hope, and State of Mirrors.