Four years ago Gonzalez was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis—a ferocious disease that affects the central nervous system. Two years later she moved to The Rio at Las Estancias, a South Valley live-in facility that offers transitional and long-term care for the elderly and those with chronic illness. Gonzalez had to quickly adapt to the change of landscape and—at the age of 27—life with the elderly. In her time at The Rio, she has turned her lens outward, capturing moving portraits of other residents and exploring their shared world, documenting instances of connection, joy and hardship.
This photo series was taken as Gonzalez began to lose function in her hands and arms; she is no longer able to lift her camera to illumine the world with her unique photographic eye. While the inability to practice her art is a felt absence for Gonzalez, her positivity is evident and she indicated that her spirituality deepens with each passing day. In this photographic essay, Gonzalez shares, as ever, the world as she sees it, framed and photographed as only she can do it.
A huge selection of Minie Gonzalez’ photographs are available in her online gallery at flickr.com/photos/minervana.