Last December I returned from helping to run the Haiti chapter of this international arts and advocacy project, in which HIV+ve participants photograph their lives. I teach photography and co-edit the work with the participants, alongside Gideon Mendel. This is the eighth city the project has worked in to challenge the stigma of HIV.
Here’s a preview of some of the work which will be appearing on the project website: http://throughpositiveeyes.org/
Raphael is a breaker of rules and a master of fevered dreams.
Against my teaching, he uses the camera at night, without the tripod and zoomed in.
The result is a spooky journey into a dream world of half-seen figures, floating lights and things kept just out of our sight and grasp.
Steeve lets us get inside his skin. His photos have a simple and open intimacy. We immediately identify with him as though we had known him for years.
Using only the available light, no flash, Widline calmly photographs herself at a moment of dramatic change in her life – the birth of her son.
Wilda uses the camera to explore the love, care and ambitions she has for her daughter. She uses the tripod and the self-timer to create a soft, warm and sensuous stage for her emotions. Note the beautiful extreme close-up of her face.
Wilder sprang into action as a very late addition to the project. But he brought a fully-formed set of ideas derived from years of confronting stigma.
His photos, full of strength and melancholy, use symbols and words to speak eloquently about his life.
Yveson is the king of cool. He glamourises everything he does. We feel we are looking at a series of film stills. We know there is a story stretching backwards and forwards from every photo. I particularly love the mysterious photo with the mattock. So many questions:
What is he looking at?
Where is he going?
What will he do?
… and so on…