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Jack Picone April 4, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Thailand.
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AIDS patient at Wat Prabut Namphu, Lopburi, Thailand 2002

Jack Picone (b. 1958, Australia) has covered eight wars in the 1990s, some several times over, including Armenia, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, Palestine, Iraq, Liberia, Sudan, Angola and Soviet Central Asia. He is credited as leading a new wave of Australian photographers that matured in the 1990s, a group who not only reported on day-to-day events but the deeper social issues at hand. His clients have included, German Geo, Stern, De Spiegel, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, L’Express, Granta, Colors Magazine and many others. Jack is a co-founder of Australia’s Reportage Festival and the founder of Communique documentary photography workshops along with Stephen Dupont. His work has been exhibited extensively in Europe, Australia and the USA. Jack is based in Bangkok and is a member of the collective South.

About the Photograph:

“This image was part of a larger body of work that looked at the AIDS epidemic in Thailand. The intention of this photograph was to give a voice to the HIV-infected people who face social ostracism, stigmatization and hardship in Thailand. In this specific photograph made at Wat Prabut Namphu (a Buddhist monastery/hospice for those dying of AIDS) a man reaches from under his human size mosquito and fly net for a glass of water. The hospice was a fairly bleak place which was challenged on many fronts and the care provided to people dying there, was rudimentary at best. The simple act of a man reaching for a glass of water is a very quiet moment but somehow when I look at this image it resonates loudly and pervades me and I am engulfed with a sense of melancholy and helplessness. For over a decade, I have been involved in photographing people and communities with AIDS as part of a London- based project called “Positive Lives.”

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