Hector Vaca Cruz

Privilege: East Charlotte During COVID-19
Location: Charlotte, NC
Nationality: US Citizen
Biography: Héctor Vaca Cruz is a Latino street photographer who has lived in Charlotte since 2008. Born in New York and raised in South Carolina, he is of Ecuadorian and Puerto Rican heritage. As the son of immigrants living in the south,... read on
Public Story
Privilege: East Charlotte During COVID-19
Credits: hector vaca cruz
Date of Work: 05/23/20 - 05/01/20
Updated: 01/28/21
This project initially started out with me walking around making photographs of life during a time of stay at home orders and social distancing. I was curious about how things had changed and how people were living. I felt the need to document life during the pandemic.

While walking around and photographing my community in East Charlotte, I began to see certain trends. In the parks and in neighborhoods, I was seeing a majority of white people running, roller-skating, riding bicycles, and just walking for the sake of walking. At the same time, I witnessed black and Latinx people, walking to and from public transportation or grocery stores, wearing masks at bus stops, and working.

This project is not a commentary on the people photographed. If you are able to enjoy your life and get outdoors for recreation, good for you. It was also not created to pity those who cannot enjoy their lives the same way. This project is a commentary on a system that creates the conditions where during a pandemic some people are able to work from home, safely social distance, and have time to recreate, while others must risk their health, leaving their homes to work; ride public transportation, limiting social distancing; and walk out of necessity, because they don’t have access to the same resources or opportunities.

It is my hope that this project will spark conversations on inequity and privilege, leading to discussions about solutions.

This photo zine is a tale of two Charlottes.