Visual storyteller and photographic essayist, José A. Alvarado Jr., is devoted to documenting cultural and social issues and their impacts in America and Puerto Rico. Since receiving a BFA from The Fashion Institute of Technology, his work has been featured in titles such as VICE IMPACT and Resource Magazine for his coverage of the Women’s March and Trump Protests in 2017. Alvarado’s work has also been apart of a variety of group shows in New York City and most recently Los Angeles. His current long-term photography project, Alex Takes On Goliath, is the story of a 28-year-old Bronx native woman of Puerto Rican heritage (D) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The story focuses on her run for a congressional seat in her own district of NY-14 against her “Goliath” the incumbent (D) Joseph Crowley and what local news is calling the “Queens Machine”. Officially marking this the first time (D) Joseph Crowley has been opposed in fourteen years. He is currently based in Queens, New York.
You Don’t Look Sick
What are one’s experiences after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in your twenties during the peak of your social life? How do you begin to live your new life in a body that is familiar and yours, but now feels foreign? Alvarado’s photographs in “You Don’t Look Sick” document Robert Sanganoo’s daily life and adversities living with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis over the course of two years. At a time when most adults in their twenties are pursuing a career and meeting significant people, Robert takes his days at a pace unimaginable to the normal person. From physical therapy to at home workouts, Robert wants to no longer just survive this disease. Having come a significant distance from the day he was first diagnosed, this positive direction comes at a time when our state of government in regards to health care may look to hinder the lives of our sick. Unable to work due to his body’s condition, Robert is dependent on the healthcare our government supplies, with a rift to it bringing serious repercussion for him and his progression towards a productive life. This essay will be his first time openly speaking about his battle with anyone outside family and people sharing the same fight. With the purpose to open more conversations about this disease and to continue the pursuit of finding a cure.
To view more of Jose’s work please visit his website.