Print this page

AIDS through a new lens

Globe and Mail Update


click here
Budget 2004ad1
click here

A crying child, a grave digger and a worried mother watching over her child. These are some of the haunting images captured in a new photo exhibit that strives to put a human face on the efforts of Africans coping with the devastating AIDS epidemic.

The exhibit of 50 black-and-white photographs, on display in Toronto, is the work of seven photographers - including The Globe and Mail's Patti Gower. The photographers, who are part of a group called PhotoSensitive, travelled to Zambia in April as part of a tour organized by CARE Canada.

They spent about a week capturing images in hospitals, refugee camps and even sports fields of people whose lives have been deeply affected by the AIDS crisis.

More than 28 million sub-Saharan Africans are infected with HIV/AIDS. In 2001, 2.3 million died of the disease and 3.4 million more were infected. The disease has left millions of children orphans.

“They found these kids who are just abandoned,” said Peter Robertson, co-founder of PhotoSensitive, a Toronto-based group professional photographers aimed at using the power of the lens to achieve social change.

“It's just a staggering situation,” he told The exhibit called HIVpositive - AIDS through a new lens tries to show the people behind the numbers.

“There's humanity here,” Mr. Robertson said. “It's not just numbers and stats.”

By also highlighting the work of Canadian-assisted projects in Zambia, the hope is that the exhibit will inspire people to take action in the fight against AIDS in Africa.

The exhibit is on display at the Network Gallery in Toronto's First Canadian Place until May 24.

The seven photographers in the exhibit are:
Peter Bregg
Patti Gower
V. Tony Hauser
Dick Loek
Steve Simon
Andrew Stawicki
Bernard Weil