Journalism Student Alex Welsh Chronicled San Francisco's Island of Poverty

Monday, March 07, 2016
THE WEEK -- In 2007, the Bayview-Hunters Point housing project was rated the worst in the nation. That same year, Alex Welsh, then a photojournalism student at San Francisco State University, did a photo feature about the proposed plans for a new waterfront property, focusing on the residents' fears of further marginalization. When the story was complete, Welsh, who is white, returned to the predominantly black neighborhood, drawn to the young men and women who were his age but living vastly different lives. “I felt that the young men, in particular, were criminalized and not given a voice in the mainstream media,” he said in an interview. During a two-year period, Welsh was welcomed into the tight-knit community. And he captured neighbors, friends and family experiencing the tragic as well as the ordinary and celebratory moments of life.