African Journal: A Child's Continent
This is a story of survival and courage. A story, to change an idea, an image. A story to change a belief. I'm a photographer, an American, recently returned from South Africa. I spent over five years there, visiting orphanages for sub-Saharan children whose parents had died of AIDS. The extraordinary children are best 'described' in the photographs. The story's a compelling one. In Zimbabwe, for instance, whole villages are run by children, the adults dead from the virus. Often the orphanages are secret sites, at least to North Americans and some Africans. Death threats are common if one visits them. At times I needed an ex-CIA operative as my chaperone. Garrulous and rough, whatever his past deeds, he works now to save abandoned children. Other times I traveled alone. I've recorded-in writings, and principally photographs-my journey: AFRICAN JOURNAL: A CHILD'S CONTINENT. An illuminating series of faces and stories highlighting the forgotten orphans of Southern Africa. Looking at the myth and stigma attached to AIDS affected children. I use the lens of my camera I focused on the beauty of each child, and not on the disease. African Journal was written with the hope of a renewed sense of grace and dignity for them and for ourselves.
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