Transcript for These photos highlight the untold stories of essential Latino workers
From the beginning of the coronavirus crisis the pandemic has taken a devastating toll on black and latinx communities which in many cases are usually ignored. One photographer decided to use his talent to highlight the untold stories of latinx essential workers in the heart of Chicago. He's joining us now from Chicago. Mateo zapata. Thank you so much for being with I know when the pandemic first hit your neighborhood there in Chicago, you had a real concern for your community, why was that, what was that? I felt the responsibility to document what was happening in my community because for the most part the history of my community has been invisible throughout the discourse of American identity and when we're at the forefront we're constantly criminalized. It's up to us to change that narrative. I wanted to capture the leadership, the resilience, the courage of essential workers and the fact they were serving as an example, as a living example for future generations to emulate, because we can't accept the negative portrayal of our community any longer and that starts by telling our own stories and changing that narrative. That's a beautiful mission indeed. And you're not just taking photos, you also produced a bilingual psa. About the spread of covid-19. Tell us about it. Yeah, I produced a psa because I felt there was a lack of awareness and a lack of effort on behalf of local city politics to reach out, right, to the Latino community, which, you know, also speaks Spanish as well, so I had to make some sort of a message that spoke to the community because there had to be just an effort to raise awareness on the impacts on covid-19 in our community. And Mateo, you covered the black lives matter movement, we saw those protests, and in the last few days we've seen the tension has once again risen in Chicago, what does it feel like in your city right now? Well, right now, people are trying to tell the world that our neighborhoods are underresourced. We don't need the feds to come to our neighborhood, we don't need over-policing because that's been happening in our communities for decades. What we need is resources, right, so, if our communities have essential workers, you need to see our existence as essential, too, in our communities. So I think people are just tired, right, this has been an ongoing issue, this is not new, right, this happened and it's been happening in Chicago for decades. So, you know, things need to change, one way or another. And your photos are certainly leading the way as is your -- you message for everyone. Mateo, thank you so much for being with us. Thank you.
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