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Los Olvidados: Portraits of Survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

Harvey Castro | Puerto Rico

Angel Gonzalez, 84, sitting in his home. Gonzalez is blind and lived with his dog Paloma. Jun 16, 2019. Jayuya, Puerto Rico

Los Olvidados is a series of environmental portraits taken in Puerto Ricans' homes affected by Hurricane Maria, nine months after making landfall on its shores in September 2017. These photographs are from almost a year after that event and reveal both an extraordinary level of personal resilience and the disregard for human life represented by the authorities' inaction to provide water, electricity, and, in some instances, basic shelter.

This project is also about identity and equity. These are topics that have become very common within micro of everyday speech. However, Puerto Rico has been a US colony for over 100 years. US citizens whose vote does not count. Another example of communities of color impacted by the inequities of a system not designed them in mind.

In 2020 Nicaragua suffered back-to-back hurricanes, as Purto Rico did in 2017. A deep freeze in Texas this year left thousands without water, electricity, and heat. What is the effect on mental health? Angel Gonzalez, the 84-year-old, committed suicide several weeks after our visit, further devastating those in the community that loved and cared for him.

Harvey Castro is a documentary photographer and visual artist working on documenting social movements within BIPOC communities that narrate resistance and resilience.

Sociopolitical issues related to inequality and diversity are central to his work, leading him to build connections with individuals, which result in candid portraits and intimate scenarios taken in both public and private spaces.

Castro’s genuine engagement with the people in his photographs leads his work to have a strong reportage feeling. Reflected also are the bonds of support and camaraderie within each specific community – bonds that make resistance possible against adversity and exclusion.

Originally from Nicaragua, Castro works out of his studio in Oakland, California, and is available for assignment work locally and abroad.

Harvey Castro

Email: harvey@studio369.com

Phone: 1-510-506-1896

Insta: @harveycastro.co

Web: www.harveycastro.co

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