September 10, 2010

I cried at my desk today. [Video]

BLOODLINE: AIDS and Family is Kristen Ashburn’s intimate portrait of African mothers, fathers and children being crushed by AIDS. Ashburn’s work connects us to these people deeply; we learn that only through such connection is hope possible. See the project at http://mediastorm.com/publication/bloodline-aids-and-family

“It is my hope that one day some people will hear us.”

I just cried at my desk.
the first wave came and i stepped aside

a trained response
the next wave came in fast

and my feet got wet
then, submerged,

I went under.
only to come up

to a world

real again.


The AIDS epidemic that came to light in the 1980s still rages today across Africa, killing 1.4 million people and infecting another 1.9 million in 2008 alone.

The disease does not discriminate, infecting educators and corporate professionals, as well as the poor.

As a concerned documentarian, Kristen Ashburn went to Africa to address this crisis after being struck by reports of the numbers of those dying. What she found — and what she relates in her deeply moving work — are human beings who are desperate for their story to be understood by the larger world.

Through her work we come to know these people, and to see the larger implications of the disease, as it snakes through whole villages, threatening peoples’ livelihoods, intensifying the effects of poverty, and threatening the economic stability of the whole region. Lack of education, awareness, and access to medical care have made the problem seem insurmountable. Through Ashburn’s efforts — and possibly our own — come some glimmer of hope toward a solution.

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