AIDS Orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa by Anna Boyiazis was part of Multimedia Night: Women in Multimedia, curated by Laura De Marco and Erica McDonald for Arte fiera, at Spazio Labo'|Center of Photography http://tinyurl.com/spaziolabo in Bologna, Italy, 1/28/2012.
Women in Multimedia is a rich selection of multimedia projects by some of the most important women photographers on the international scene. Multimedia Night: Women in Multimedia was realized in collaboration with Slideluck Potshow slideluckpotshow.com/, Daylight Magazine daylightmagazine.org/, FlakPhoto.com flakphoto.com/, Prospekt prospekt.it/ and DEVELOP DEVELOP Tube: Photography to Watch - with special thanks to Food For Your Eyes foodforyoureyes.tumblr.com, the Vivian Maier/John Maloof Collection and Panos Pictures. See other pieces included in the event: Arte Fiera: Women in Multimedia
AIDS Orphans by Anna Boyiazis: In 2006, I began documenting the daily lives of one family of children in a remote village in the Rakai district of Uganda, the original
epicenter of the AIDS pandemic. The family consists of eleven children—Lydia, Molly, Helen, Scovia, Nasta, James, Eddie, Dennis, Jacque, Agnes and Elliott—five of whom are AIDS orphans.
In 2008/09 and 2010/11, I spent an additional four months embedded in this family with the intention of wholeheartedly documenting what it’s like to be a kid there. To this end, I attended school, gardened, ‘swam’ and foraged with them for both fruit and insects. I even got jiggers. Their calling me ‘Mama’ snapped me back to the reality that I wasn’t one of them. And I wasn’t. I photographed daily happenings, such as surgery on a young girl’s lymph nodes, a friend’s sister passing from AIDS, girl-child headed households and children being tested for HIV.
The children I documented were a microcosm of the growing army of orphans to which sub-Saharan Africa is home. According to UNICEF, “The staggering number of African children already orphaned due to AIDS is only the beginning of a crisis of gargantuan proportions—
the worst is yet to come.” The numbers continue to spiral upward, increasing exponentially. In Uganda, where half the population is under fifteen, the current ratio of HIV in female to male teenagers is five to one. The demographic
with the largest number of new infections are 12 to 18 year old girls. Illiteracy among adult women is high, thus the chances of girls being educated on issues relating to reproductive health and HIV/AIDS is low. By learning there are alternative choices available to her, a young
girl—empowered to protect herself—will have a dynamic influence on her family, community, and most importantly, her own life.
In addition to the group slideshow, solo multimedia pieces featuring the works of Aglaé Bory, Alexandra Boulat, Alisa Resnik, Amy Touchette, Anastasia Taylor-Lind , Andrea Diefenbach, Anna Boyiazis, Anna Nemtsova, Anne Huijnen, Audrey Bardou, Betty Ras, Brenda Ann Kenneally, Carolyn Drake, Cristina Vatielli, Elinor Carucci, Erica McDonald, Erika Larsen, Esther Levine, Hayley Austin, Helen Levitt, Helen Twomey, Jenn Ackerman, Jennette Williams, Jen Plaskowitz, Jodi Bieber, Juliana Beasley, Julie Blackmon, Justine Reyes, Katrin Björk, Keliy Anderson-Staley, Kim Reierson, Kirsten Luce, Laura El-Tantawy, Lauren Hermele, Lynette Astair, Maise Crow, Mery Agakhanyan, Mila Teshaieva, Mirjam Siefert, Nandita Raman, Rena Effendi, Rose Marie Cromwell, Sarah Girner, Sarah Pickering, Shannon Jensen, Sophia Wallace, Stephanie Sinclair, Susan Morelock, Susan Worsham, Tatiana Plotnikova, Tatjana Schlör, Wendy Marijnissen and Vivian Maier were presented at Spazio Labo' for Multimedia Night: Women in Multimedia.
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