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Jonathan Hyams June 1, 2009

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.
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Hamburg, South Africa 2006

Jonathan Hyams (b.1984, Canada, raised in England) studied Documentary Photography at the University of Wales, Newport. His work  has been published in the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, and the New Internationalist as well as supporting campaigns for the Department For International Development, and Defense Children International. Since graduating in 2007, Jonathan continues to contribute to publications such as the Guardian as well as supporting charities like Christian Aid, Oxfam, and Unicef. In September 2008, Jonathan was awarded Hello Young Photographer of the Year in association with Getty Images and Nikon, for his reportage work on war torn Northern Uganda. His work has been exhibited internationally.

About the Photograph:

“Xolile Wiseman is shown at the start of Anti Retroviral treatment for HIV/AIDS. He is photographed holding his ID booklet as a point of reference. Patients beginning treatment now, are likely to have contracted HIV during the mid to late 90s’ –The ID photographs, reissued in the post apartheid ID booklets, now serve as a poignant snapshot of the subjects before contracting the virus. The ID booklet as a symbol, of the marginalization of blacks under apartheid, resonates deeply as many victims of HIV/AIDS find themselves again marginalised, but perhaps more critically from within their own communities.”

“HIV not only attacks the body it targets weaknesses in society. The stigma that still shrouds HIV in South Africa cripples efforts to tackle it. The sense of shame that people feel about the virus prevents them from being tested and telling the results to their friends and families. At this vital juncture between life and death he is shown to be a shadow of his former self. However, if the ARV treatment is successful, Wiseman may be able to reclaim his identity and lead a full and healthy life.”

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