Darcy Padilla, the 2010 winner of the W. Eugene Smith Award in Humanistic Photography says this of her subject:
"I first met Julie on February 28, 1993. Julie, 18, stood
in the lobby of the Ambassador Hotel, barefoot, pants
unzipped, and an 8 day-old infant in her arms. She lived
in San Francisco’s SRO district, a neighborhood of soup
kitchens and cheap rooms.....
For the last 18 years I have photographed Julie Baird’s
complex story of multiple homes, AIDS, drug abuse,
abusive relationships, poverty, births, deaths, loss
and reunion. Following Julie from the backstreets of
San Francisco to the backwoods of Alaska."
Her documentation of Julie's life is brutally honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately enlightening. As difficult as it was to look at her photographs, I couldn't look away. It's definitely a hard thing to see, but it will open your heart and mind to those who live their lives with poverty and AIDS.
The Julie Project.