"A Newark Brand": Interview and Conversation with Gabe Ribeiro

Recently, on the Newark subreddit on reddit.com, someone posed the question, “What is the most common misconception about Newark?” I jokingly responded “That it’s pronounced new-ark.” This joke has some resonance though. The pronunciation of the city’s name acts as a password, a way to separate who is from the city and who is not. Pronunciations can vary. However, locals generally settle on “nərk” or “nork.”

Gabe Ribeiro, a local, 21-year old artist, has run with this unique cultural artifact and developed some branding around it. Products with this branding are instantly recognizable. They include “Newark Is For Hustlers” and “Nu-Werk.” Gabe, however, is not merely seizing on a locally generated term. His work is designed to breakdown barriers between outsiders and residents in the city and the bubbles that exist within the city itself. He also is pioneering the Nork Audio Project, where stories about Newark are collected, archived, and shared. On the episode, Gabe explains his work, what he wants to accomplish with it, and what support he needs.

Background & Articles:

Guest:

Gabe Ribeiro—Gabe is a an artist, born and raised in the Ironbound section of Newark. He is a self-taught graphic artist, starting with Snapchat geofilters and then transitioning into physical products. He runs both the Nork Project and the Nork Audio Project.

Quote:

“Chekalinsky began to deal, his hands trembling. On the right lay a queen, on the left an ace./’The ace wins!' said Hermann, and he turned over his card./’Your queen loses,’ Chekalinsky said affably./Hermann shuddered: indeed, instead of an ace, the queen of spades stood before him. He did not believe his eyes, did not understand how he could have drawn the wrong card./At the moment it seemed to him that the queen of spades winked and grinned. That extraordinary likeness struck him . . .” Alexander Pushkin, The Queen of Spades