March 18 in Almaty in the art gallery “June 24” as part of the World Day Against Tuberculosis – 2017, the opening of the exhibition of photographs “Life in the shadows”, organized by the public foundation “AIDS Foundation East-West in Kazakhstan.”
The purpose of the event is to shed light on the daily lives of people affected by HIV and tuberculosis. They are just like us. The only difference is that these people know their diagnosis and they have to fight for their health. Myths and prejudices around HIV and tuberculosis make it necessary to hide this part of my life. And actually go into the shadows. Although understanding and support of others is exactly what helps to defeat any disease. These people will come out of the shadows to tell their stories in photographs.
The photographs were presented by two photographers: Ravil Abushaev – our compatriot, recognized for the second consecutive year as “The Best Photographer of the Year” by the version “StaffAwards Insomnia”, known in the Instagram under hashtagom #abushito. And the photographer from the USA – Ian Christopher Buff. Ian’s works were published in the magazine “VICE”, exhibited in the galleries of New York, San Francisco, in the Museum of Modern Art of Utah.
On the photos, fifteen Kazakhstanis: 6 people living with HIV and 9 people who have won tuberculosis. For each photo, their experiences, their unique life experiences, their own destiny. Now these people feel confident and free. But what did they have to go through and overcome? All in their faces: both fears and doubts, and despair and hope, and love and joy.
A group of artists from Almaty (Julia Starchenkova, Alexander Ibragimov, Lilia Pozdnyakova, Georgy Lee and the owner of the gallery Olga Goryachkina) supported the event by presenting their paintings at the opening of the exhibition. “AIDS Foundation East-West” plans to transfer the work of artists in TB hospitals in the city. Positive motives of the pictures will psychologically support the patients and help them to recover.
The authors and models of the photo exhibition themselves took part in the opening of the exhibition, as well as Roman Dudnik, the head of AIDS Foundation East-West in Kazakhstan, Svetlana Pak – the Regional Director of the Royal Society for the Fight against Tuberculosis in Central Asia, and others.
Roman Dudnik, Executive Director AIDS Foundation East-West in Kazakhstan:
“We should not divide people into sick and healthy, right and wrong. We all live in the same world, on the same planet. With this photo exhibition we wanted to show the real life of people, on the one hand, something different from others, and on the other, which are an important part of this world, a part of us. Let’s help these people, like thousands of others, get out of the shadow in which they are forced to be because of human ignorance … ”
Pak Svetlana, Regional Director of the representative office of the Royal Society for Tuberculosis Control in Central Asia:
“First of all, I would like to express my admiration and gratitude to those who agreed to take part in this photo exhibition. We very much hope that the stories shown and narrated at this exhibition will help dispel myths and prejudices that hang around tuberculosis and HIV. Unfortunately, none of us is immune from HIV infection and tuberculosis. Therefore it is very important that our society treats such people with understanding and empathy. Did not reject them, but rather stretched out a helping hand, as soon as together we can change the situation for the better. ”
The photo exhibition is held on March 18 – 31, 2017 in the Art Gallery “June 24” at the address: 24 June street, corner of Abai Avenue (between Aitieva and Manas streets) every day from 11.00 to 18.00.