On Friday, November 26, 2004, Christian Aid is presenting its second exhibition on HIV/AIDS in Africa.
The exhibition, named “Life Interrupted," which opens at the County Hall Gallery on London’s South Bank, will look at the impact anti-retroviral treatment (ART) has made on the lives of people living with HIV in Zambia and South Africa.
The drugs are free in South Africa but cost an average of $11 per month in impoverished Zambia, putting them out of the reach of most HIV-positive people.
Photographer Don McCullin spent most of his early career recording iconic images of war. In recent years he has shifted his focus to other equally powerful subjects. In 2000, he visited Zambia, South Africa and Botswana, documenting the lives of people living in desperate poverty who had been affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
The photos were exhibited in “Cold Heaven” in 2001 and toured internationally. (Online exhibition link at the bottom of the article.)
McCullin returned to Zambia and South Africa in April 2004 to record the changes in these countries after the introduction of ART. Retracing his steps, he experienced a sense of hope in one of the countries from the previous journey.
In South Africa, he photographed two people from his the first visit who are now receiving ART and doing well.
The atmosphere in Zambia was a much different story. Since the drugs are too costly for most people, he found himself photographing the orphans of Teresa, a young woman who had appeared in the first exhibition.
These intensely personal new photographs demonstrate the complexity of life in Africa, which has been hit by both HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty.
The exhibition will tour the UK and Ireland throughout 2005. Touring details and an online version of the new exhibition will be available www.christianaid.org.uk starting November 26, 2004.