Javier Alvarez

Location: Brooklyn
Nationality: Chilean
Biography: Javier Álvarez (Santiago de Chile, 1988) is a documentary photographer with a special interest in social issues. His work is focused on human relationships in neglected communities. Alvarez's work has been exhibited, published, granted... read on
Public Story

During the 90s, proletarian social movements began to occupying into abandoned buildings in São Paulo's downtown, Brazil.

Today, there are more than forty organizations that 'squats' hundreds of abandoned properties, giving them a social function by allowing families, immigrants, students, or workers in a homeless situation, to live in these places.

In 2013, I started visiting the 'Marconi' building. During this process, I became part of the community while I lived there for periods of six up to eight weeks at a time, sometimes for two or three times a year. The full body of work consists of a series of photographs, video interviews, archive material, and collages from the personal notebook.

'PRÉDIO' explores the life stories of these occupants from inside the 'Marconi' building, in the 'Barrio Centro Republica' São Paulo, Brazil. Likewise, the project explores the organization and relevance of social movements that fight for housing and human rights advocacy.

On the thirteen floors of the 'Marconi' squat, about four hundred people live in offices reconditioned to rooms of 9 to 12 m2, under the uncertainty of a decent housing solution. Within it, the notion of home (a space of emotional relationships and identity), becomes fleeting because of memories and expectations of a more stable future. 'Marconi' is a place where life stories share common experiences of nostalgia and loss.

These universal stories ask us: How do we deal with the problem of social housing in our own country? Who organizes? Who are the criminals on this system?. 'PREDIO' encourages the dialogue about the housing problem in major cities. Evidencing these stories will hopefully help to understand from a South American historical context, what do we leave behind from our identity and collective memory.


By Javier Alvarez —



By Javier Alvarez — Only between 2016-17, about 171,635(*) immigrants crossed the mediterranean sea to a European destination. There isn’t an exact number that..


By Javier Alvarez — A photographic exercise that rescues Valparaiso's abandoned photo lab developing orders, as an attempt to access to one of people's most..


By Javier Alvarez — A visual journal about how my partner and I fall in love, on a train trip from Istanbul to Warsaw in Eastern Europe.  ORANGE, 2014 We met us..


By Javier Alvarez — A visual journal from the trip where two strangers got to know each other during a train trip from Istanbul (Turkey) to Warsaw (Poland), across..


By Javier Alvarez — A daily life series that explores the cultural identity of the longest street in America, Colfax Avenue in Denver (CO)   On this road, with..


By Javier Alvarez/Cecily Mauran — According to the Center for American Progress, by the 2020 presidential election, millennials will be largest voting population , making up around..
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