Ying Ang August 7, 2009Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Malawi.
Mtsiliza, Malawi, 2009
Ying Ang (b. 1980, Singapore) is an ardent believer in the poetry of visual language and a photographer of stories, journeys and contemporary quirks with a post-grad background in political science and conflict resolution between religious groups. She spent her formative years growing up in a small Australian town by the sea. A voracious consumer of pop and sub cultures, Ying’s work is centrally focused on the themes of hope, modernity and ultimately being a witness to our world. She has recently won the Women in Photojournalism Award by the NPPA and is beginning a certificate in Documentary and Photojournalism at the International Center of Photography this Fall. Ying is a member of Brooklyn-based MJR collective.
About the Photograph:
“I spent June 2009 in the village of Mtsiliza, Malawi. The girl in the photograph is 8 year old Ivy Phiri. Both her parents died of AIDS when she was one. This photograph was taken at the clinic where Ivy was being tested for HIV for the first time. Negative. The nurse insisted that it was God’s will that “spared” her. Back at the village, God’s will did not shine so brightly on some others. Vincent, age 15, who was HIV positive from birth but left untreated because of the shame of his surviving mother, died one day after I took this photo. This community struggles with the burden of its orphans and the clay red landscape echoes with wailing sorrow after every death. They endure the virus in addition to the deep aversion to open dialogue that comes with the social stigma of a condition that still suggests immorality and ungodliness. I was a witness to the sweetness of their humanity and the backbone of a religious community that supports as much as it condemns. “