GOOD Pictures: Immigration and Assimilation in South Central Phoenix
How much does personal history inform a photographer’s work? Eduardo Rivera’s "131" series begs the question. Born and raised in a tough neighborhood of South Central Phoenix, Rivera's family moved to a nicer part of town when he was a pre-teen. As an adult, he went back to document the neighborhood of his youth. Rivera writes, "What I found was people and their spaces. Here, since the 1970s, old Mexican traditions have met new assimilated lifestyles as a search for identity and belonging persists." He says it's "a place where hope strives to live."
His photographs have a duality to them. They are infused with nostalgia, yet they’re honest. He invites us into people’s homes, showcasing warm kitchens and laundry hanging on the line. But he also photographs people who have an edge, who stand for their portraits knowing they are standing for something else as well, a testament to what it means to live in South Central Phoenix.
You can see more of Eduardo Rivera's work on his website.