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Sam Wolson May 13, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in South Africa.
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A room in the Central Methodist church used  for individuals with HIV. Johannesburg 2011

Sam Wolson (b. 1989, USA) is a California-based freelance photographer and multimedia producer, currently interning at the San Fransisco Chronicle. In 2011, Sam graduated from the University of Michigan where he studied film-making. Over the past year he has been working on stories around the world from Zimbabwe to Colombia covering issues surrounding public space, immigration and marginalized communities. He has published with Slate, The Mail & Guardian, The Atlantic Cities, the San Francisco Chronicle and maintains a photography blog for the The Huffington Post.

About the Photograph:

“This photo was taken in a large church turned refugee camp in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa. I had been working on a story with a writer about a Zimbabwean immigrant named Reymond who had been living in the church for the last five years. In October 2011, we traveled to Reymond’s home in Zimbabwe to see what would lead someone to leave in order to live under such difficult conditions in the church, where every night can be a struggle to find a safe place to sleep, food to eat, and shelter from potential violence that engulfs Johannesburg. Upon returning from Zimbabwe I spent extensive time at the church with Reymond. This scene takes place in a room at the church that houses people with HIV and other heath issues. Typically during the day everyone is asked to leave the building, but exceptions are made for the sick and families with young children. In composing the photo I tired to flatten the space making the man almost seem to become part of the fading mural in the background.”

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