Creating Beauty Where Life Should Have Ended

April 5, 2008

I just heard about the website HOPE: Living and Loving With HIV in Jamaica. Really, its a work of art that’s also a testimonial and public education tool.

To browse through it is a spiritual experience.

This is clearly the product of some serious hard work by our own Kwame Dawes, uncommon bravery of the many participants, and of course, access to resources of the Pulitzer Center and the opportunity to make difference.

For me, this website is a great example of what can happen when imagination, creativity, compassion, commitment and love of country are allowed to feed off and nurture each other. The website – with the powerful interweaving of visual and sound – reminds me of the amazing works of art – performance, poetry, music, dance, writing, painting – that came out beginning in the early 1990s as gay men in the US sought to name, mourn, contain and resist the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Beautiful!

Let me know what you think, what you learned, where it took you, where you are on the questions posed – and answered – by the individual stories and website as a whole.

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2 Responses to “Creating Beauty Where Life Should Have Ended”

  1. experienceaurie Says:

    one word – “powerful”


  2. Hi, my name is Brian Mahoney and I’m writing on behalf of the Pulitzer Center. We’d like to thank you for featuring the work of Kwame Dawes on your blog.

    To further awareness on this issue, we are sponsoring the Pulitzer Center Global Issues/Citizen Voices contest on Helium.com, an online writing website.The contest is calling for independent voices to answer questions based on our international reporting. Our latest contest has a question that pertains to Kwame’s reporting. The question is:

    How does stigma and discrimination, as witnessed in Jamaica, perpetuate the global HIV/AIDS epidemic?

    The deadline to enter is May 30. To enter, visitors can visit http://www.helium.com/knowledge/161640 and submit an essay to Helium. Essays will be judged by other Helium users and staff here at the Pulitzer Center.

    We really appreciate the work you do and your efforts to promote Kwame and the larger, under-reported issue of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica. Thanks so much for passing this on and please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

    We would also appreciate if you added us to your links section, if possible.

    Thanks so much-

    – Brian


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