photo by: Shaidul Alam
Why people become leaders in the AIDS response
Portraits of Commitment is by UNAIDS, photography by Shahidul Alam and text by Karen Emmons.
Challenges help us find our true selves. They take us on a journey within the depths of who we are, leaving us at a destination we hope is worthy. Some people find themselves at lesser places.
AIDS is one of those challenges.
To halt HIV’s impact on our society requires standing up to it—and not standing against certain groups of people. It requires compassion. It requires understanding. And it requires action. All individuals have a right to be aware and to make choices for themselves. But enabling those rights requires resources and leadership
The South Asians portrayed in this exhibition tell how AIDS has made them a better doctor, researcher, legislator, citizen or person. We know AIDS affects our daily life—but because of it we now have more respect for human rights and individual choice where once there was little or none. AIDS has helped us to see who we want to be.
The evocative portraits in this exhibition are by the celebrated Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam. These are combined with insightful interviews by the talented American writer Karen Emmons, in a book by the same title commissioned by the Asia Pacific Leadership Forum (APLF) on HIV/AIDS and Development of UNAIDS to identify and portray people in South Asia who have gone way beyond the line of duty to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDs. In “Portraits of Commitment” the stories illustrate diverse forms of compassion and roles that leadership can take in confronting AIDS.
The above is part of the text written by Shaidul as an Intro to the exhibition that is currently on view at the Barefoot Gallery. The exhibition closes on Wednesday the 22nd.