In the late 80s and early 90s, the Chicago neighborhood of Pilsen saw its cultural peak as a mecca for Mexican-American immigrants in the Midwest. The 2.76-square-mile community has seen rapid development, which has displaced most of its previous residents, yet it is still home to a dwindling Latinx population.
Residents here have always been weary of gentrification—which rears its head in Pilsen not just as housing market displacement but as indirect displacement, which is not physical but cultural.
Places that once held a deeper meaning inside this community are now unrecognizable to long-time residents. Those who grew up on here feel socially isolated and find it difficult to establish relationships with newcomers who don’t understand the history of the neighborhood. Over the course of a year, this project visualizes a community where gentrification has left deep emotional wounds that are often invisible to outsiders.
Sebastián Hidalgo is an award-winning visual journalist and documentary photographer from Chicago.