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Social Change Photography

Archive for the ‘AIDS’ Category

Darcy Padilla’s Award Winning Work, “The Julie Project” – Opens THIS Thursday, May 20th, 5:00 – 7:30 PM

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JULIE – “For the last 16 years I have been documenting the life of an AIDs-afflicted woman, Julie Baird. Julie has been on her own since her sexually abusive stepfather threw her through a glass window when she was 14 years old. She ran away from home, lived on the street, used drugs, contracted HIV, and had five children. When I first met Julie in February 1993 in the lobby of a SRO hotel in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, she was 18 years old and had just given birth to her first child, Rachel. Julie and Jack Fyffe, the 19 year-old father were both HIV positive. Rachel, they said, was their main reason for living.

Throughout the years I have photographed Julie’s complex story of AIDS, abusive relationships, drug use, multiple homes and poverty. A victim of child abuse, Julie often neglected her own children. A high school dropout, she depends on welfare to feed her family. HIV-positive, she fights to stay off drugs.

Julie’s is a story of a survivor. The telling of it enriches the understanding of the poorest and most desperate among us. I am continuing to document Julie’s life and it is my fervent hope that Julie’s story inspires a greater awareness of the plight of people like her.”

Darcy Padilla’s unflinching portrayal of Julie Baird is one of the most in-depth, visceral, and captivating documentaries in recent memory.

Her work has received numerous grants and awards including an Alexia Foundation for World Peace & Understanding Award, Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.

The latest iteration of this paramount work will be on display at Fifty Crows Gallery, beginning with our May 20th opening. Doors will be open from 4 PM to 7:30 PM. Fifty Crows would like to welcome everyone to join us in this momentous event. We hope to see you there.

Benedicte Kurzen – South African EVE Photographer

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kurzen

Benedicte Kurzen is a co-founder and member of Eve Photographers and part of the VII Mentor Program. Other projects she has been involved in include a video piece with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) called Shattered Lives about victims of sexual violence and the physical and psychological services that are offered at MSF clinics. This Day of Change is an incredible collaboration project that involved the photographs from 132 photographers from around the world and their images from 1.20.09, the day the Barack Obama was became the president of the United States. Benedicte’s personal portfolios looks at politics, violence and culture in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as AIDS transmission between mother and child in South Africa.

Written by Zara Katz

December 24, 2009 at 11:49 am

liveBooks RESOLVE Blog feature: Should photojournalists seek out the silver lining?

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FiftyCrows partner, liveBooks Inc. is the leading provider of custom photography website. This year they came out with a website deal that offers photojournalist/documentary photographer an affordable yet customized and professional way to have their images on the web. At FiftyCrows, we highly encourage photojournalist and documentary photographers to have a website as it enables their stories to be seen and told to anyone that has internet access.

The liveBooks blog, RESOLVE is “a collaborative online community that brings together photographers and creative professionals of every kind to find ways to keep photography relevant, respected, and profitable.” The editor of Resolve, Miki Johnson, writes and features posts about a variety of topics in the photography industry from new business models to traditional documentary projects. She strives to highlight how and why people are doing what they are doing in the photography world as well as the details and importance of the specific project they are working on. On the FiftyCrows blog I will feature Resolve posts about photojournalist and documentary photography related issues that provide insight on how photography continues to create social change.

Should photojournalist seek out the silver lining?

Posted by Miki Johnson
Considering that today is World AIDS Day, this seemed like the perfect time to highlight a new book from photographer Karen Ande, Face to Face: Children of the AIDS Crisis in Africa. Although hardly the first person to document this topic, Karen’s emphasis on telling positive stories is unusual. And her technique presents a hard — but important — question for documentary photographers: Do too many images of suffering make people feel helpless to improve things?
©Karen Ande

These three women are members of a granny support group that meets weekly to discuss issues and solve problems related to caring for their many young charges. ©Karen Ande

Miki Johnson: Tell me about the book you just released with Ruthann Richter, Face to Face: Children of the AIDS Crisis in Africa. What was the impetus of this project and what were you hoping to achieve with it?

Karen Ande: This book represents the culmination of seven years of work. The project began in 2002 when I was traveling in Kenya with my husband and friends. Our tour guide asked me if I’d like to visit an orphanage she had opened in the town of Naivasha and photograph the children, whose parents had died of AIDS.

I agreed to do it, thinking it would be a one-time visit that might result in a few shots she could use for fundraising. I did not realize that the children would charm me and that their survival hung in such a delicate balance. The orphanage ran out of rice the day I was there.

We left them with some money for food and I eventually went home and began to print the photographs. When I saw the images emerge in the developing tray I realized that I had an opportunity and a decision to make. I could choose to become involved in this issue or not. I chose to get involved, to reach out to nonprofits who were already supporting projects, to make multiple trips to document this issue. It has taken an enormous amount of time and personal finances, but I have never looked back.

©Karen Ande

Vannah is only 15 years old but is caring for five younger brothers and sisters after their parent's death from AIDS. ©Karen Ande

I am driven by this issue — 12 million children have been orphaned by AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. There is little infrastructure to care for the children, but many local people whom I have met through NGO’s have creative viable projects that make a difference in these children’s lives. I hope this book will convince people to take a close look at the children I’ve met and begin to care enough to try to help them.

MJ: You’ve said that when you started photographing it was important to you to focus on the positive, things are getting better and people who are making a difference. Why was this so important to you?

KA: People do not hang around to be depressed. The media overexposes us to images of suffering I think, consistently giving us two messages: 1) there is really nothing one person can do to affect these overwhelming problems, and 2) money donated to Africa will be diverted by corrupt governments and aid agencies and never get to the people who need it.

In fact there is a great deal one person can do if they know how. If you donate to organizations working with in-country activists who know and understand their communities’ needs, the money is not wasted. In fact it is often the best way to help, as these projects are generally successful and sustainable. We list many NGO’s in our book that support these types of projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Zara Katz

December 9, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Posted in AIDS, Disease, Health, RESOLVE Blog, Survival

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