Photo Stories: African Women and Kids
Affected by AIDS Share their Lives


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Beginning at the beginning

Steve Barrett

Posted 9:05PM on Friday, July 27, 2007 Pacific Time

I first met Jim Hubbard about 20 years ago. I was his student when he was teaching a course in Documentary photography. We hit it off pretty much right away (same birthday you know!) I guess we are like minded (read-wise ass)
Jim invited me to go to Romania with him to teach photography. I'll always be grateful to JH for that opportunity. We worked in an orphanage in Bucharest (casa di copi #10) in 1992. The dictator Ceausescu had recently been deposed and the orphanages were full. Jim and I traveled there for World Vision. We were teaching photography for empowerment and to show the world their life through their eyes. Most of the kids were both charming, troubled and " skin hungry" (craved attention and contact). They were eager to work with adults and responded well to a little attention.

It was a heady time, with Romania being in transition from a closed, bullet marked eastern block state to a developing one. Outside of Bucharest was a time machine where horse drawn carts were as common as automobiles. In one small village I visited near Pitesti, a very old woman said "I never thought I would see the day that an American would set a foot in my village".

These are things I'll never forget.

When JH called and asked if I wanted to do it all again in Mozambique I did not drop a beat! As a photographer this is the kind of thing I live for.

I have little preconceived Ideas of what to expect in Moz and my son and I are "empty vessels" for the hard work and experiences ahead.

comments from website visitors:

I am so impressed by this project! It is remarkable to say the least! Not only are you helping Mozambican children by allowing themselves to express their emotions through art (invaluable yet underrated), but at the same time you are creating awareness throughout the world about the conditions in Mozambique. I have especially enjoyed viewing the photographs and videos because I am leaving for Mozambique in September with the Peace Corps. Now more then ever I am extremely excited! We need more projects like this and more people like you and your son to do them!!
Meghan Duffy
Posted Thursday, June 26, 2008 8:01AM

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We need to speak out about our status in public and treat AIDS like something like high-blood pressure.
Pamela Mvinjelwa
Cape Town project participant

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