Viewing the World: Through Positive Eyes

  • Posted: Jun 30, 2017

A photographic journal of over 100 HIV positive people across the world is given voice in Through Positive Eyes, an exhibition currently on display at the Iziko Slave Lodge. The project, which spans over a period of ten years, is a photographic collaboration with Gideon Mendel and the UCLA Art & Global Health Center.It features over 100 photographs, sculptural works and livestorytelling, documenting the realities of individuals living with HIV.

In this thought-provoking exhibition, visitors can listen to the story of South African, Gugu Dlamini, who was stoned and stabbed to death in 1998, when she openly revealed on radio that she was HIV positive. Gugu’s death is an example of stigmas attached to those living with the disease. It was her violent death that inspired Justice of the Constitutional Court, Edwin Goldstein, to reveal his status, after having lived with the disease for 12 years.

The exhibition looks at the various stigmas attached to persons living with HIV at the end of the third decade of the epidemic, when access to treatment was still not readily available. While addressing these stigmas, the exhibition gives power to the participants, who have not only overcome, but changed society’s perception of what it means to live with HIV/AIDS.

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