Last month, Forbes magazine named Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood one of the 12 coolest neighborhoods in the world.
Many longtime residents of that rapidly gentrifying community wondered if the honor was actually bad news, likely to bring even more development and displacement.
For the last three years, lifelong Pilsen resident Sebastian Hidalgo has photographed what he calls “a culture under threat.” With a fellowship from City Bureau, a nonprofit that supports community journalism, he has created a project called “The Quietest Form of Displacement in a Changing Barrio.”
“Quiet,” he says, because the impact is not just economic – and not always visible. “I’m trying to bring awareness, that with displacement, with gentrification, there’s also indirect displacement,” Hidalgo said, “which is the feeling of a home changing and becoming unrecognizable to the people who’ve called it home for generations.”
Hidalgo’s Pilsen project was featured earlier this year in the New York Times photography and video blog Lens. His work can be seen through Oct. 7 at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen.