At the height of the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s, the Ambassador Hotel helped the overcrowded hospitals, housing those with nowhere to go and for whom nothing more could be done apart from daily doses of morphine.
The AIDS Hotel, as it became known by those who experienced the tragedy from the inside, was a single-room occupancy hotel. Once an opera house it was rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake, the 134 rooms were 8×10 feet with no kitchen or bathroom, and residents stayed for a few weeks or months.
Darcy Padilla is a documentary photographer and an associate professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. With a focus on narrative, she works on long-term projects about struggle and its trans-generational effects.
Padilla’s photographs have been published in The New Yorker, and she has received several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and World Press Photo Award.
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