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Flea Market Vendor Sues N.Y.U. Student for Filming and Running

alfaPhilip Ross Alfa Diallo at the Dias Y Flores Community Garden

A vendor at the flea market at Avenue A and 11th Street is suing a former N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts student who disappeared after filming a short documentary about him. The t-shirt designer, Alfa Diallo, is demanding $5,000 in small claims court.

Mr. Diallo said that he agreed to show Matthew Swenson his t-shirt making process after Craig Atkinson, who is also named in the suit, approached his booth last summer and asked if he would participate in his friend’s graduate thesis project.

Mr. Diallo, a relaxed and amicable 60-year-old who was born in Senegal and educated in France, handcrafts the t-shirt designs using a French curve, a tool that creates curly, looped, and elliptical patterns. Mr. Swenson filmed him for two days, said Mr. Diallo – one day at the flea market and another at his apartment on 13th Street and Avenue A.

“They did all this shooting without me being able to see anything,” he said. “Matt said to me, ‘I’ll send you things by e-mail, you should be able to open it and see.’ But I was not able to see it.” Read more…