stories of human tragedy and resilience in California’s agricultural heartland.
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This project is intended to be an authentic reflection of our communities in the Central Valley whose stories have often been neglected or minimized.
Pandemic in the Heartland is intended to elevate the deepen the courage of marginalized groups in the Central Valley.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
“Pandemic in the Heartland,” is a photography and video project that seeks to reveal important truths about the systemic, pre-existing inequities that have fueled the disproportionate spread of COVID-19 in the Central Valley. The region produces one-fourth of the countries food. Using photographs and short-form videos, we will document efforts by residents, local organizations, and community leaders to contain the virus, while coping with the economic devastation in communities that were struggling long before the pandemic. The project will also highlight solutions that are making a transformative impact in the lives of rural California families.
This project was made possible by a grant awarded by The Emerson Collective
ABOUT THE CREATORS
Photographer + Filmmaker
Adam Perez is a first-generation Mexican-American filmmaker and photographer who is currently working on a long-term project about how the pandemic has impacted marginalized communities in the Central Valley.
Adam is from the Central Valley and has been producing stories about his community since he was 15.
Adam is searching for stories about how the pandemic has impacted you, your family, or your community. If you’d like to participate or know someone who has an important story to tell, please submit your story on the homepage form and or call, text (559) 461-5829 , or email
His work has appeared on TIME, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post CNN, and Netflix among others. He’s also an adjunct professor at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism
Francisco Aviles Pino is a writer and producer based in Los Angeles, California, whose work focuses on incarceration, migration, and culture.
Born in Acapulco Guerrero, Mexico, and raised in Los Angeles and Anaheim California, Francisco is an immigrant who is always thinking and working through the intersections and conflicts between history, documentary, theatre, participatory research, poetry, and public policy.
They were the founding editor for ChispaOC, and they have worked on editorial and impact projects for Netflix, Vogue, The Intercept, Youtube Movies, OC Weekly, the ACLU, UNITE HERE Local 11, PICO California, Homeboy Industries, No More Deaths, and JUSTICE LA.
Aviles Pino is an alum of the Macondo Writers Workshop, the NALAC Leadership Institute, The Poetry Foundation's Emerging Writers Fellowship, the Brave New Films Research & Outreach Fellowship, and the NCCEP-GUALA Reach Higher Initiative during the Obama Administration.
They worked as a Staff Community Organizer for the Orange County Congregation Community Organization for five years, where they supported numerous local to statewide campaigns & organized several intergenerational coalitions.
Tel: (559) 461-5829