South Africa through photos

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Photographer Stevan Talevski's Making AIDS Work: Stories of Beauty and Afflication opens at Warehouse 242 on May 29. For more information, see the press release below.

Making AIDS Work: Stories of Beauty and Affliction

-An evening dedicated to a virtual tour through South Africa.

CHARLOTTE (May 2009) - The Making AIDS Work: Stories of Beauty and Affliction gallery opening comes to Warehouse 242 on May 29, 2009.

This timely event comes as the world continues to be flooded with images and news stories of the most arguably unstable continent in the world. Beset with stories and staggering numbers of AIDS, starvation, child soldiers,genocide and orphans, relief organizations have a rising number of questions as to where to begin to help and make a difference.

In November of 2008, Warehouse 242 sent a team to South Africa to begin researching a way that their Charlotte community can give a hand up in Africa. Through this journey, photographer Stevan Talevski documented their trip and the stories of the people they met along the way. The French poet, Baudelaire said, "I can scarcely conceive of any type of beauty in which there is no affliction." For the people of South Africa, beauty abounds in grand proportions in the midst of pandemic headlines of affliction, and their stories will come to life on May 29th.

Each story is told using visual images, raw materials and the sounds of Africa that the team experienced. "The goal is all about not getting overwhelmed with the African plight, but focusing on it one individual at a time," says Talevski.

Through the November trip, Warehouse 242 decided to take a unique direction in the way that they will begin to help. In working with area partner SIM HOPE for AIDS, the Warehouse 242 team had the opportunity to meet with several agencies across South Africa and have identified Malawi and Zimbabwe to be prime locations to create income generating activities (IGA). While IGA's are believed to be one step towards the solution, they are an innovative approach that creates a business model that stimulates economic growth to the area, resulting in long-term sustainable growth.

In addition, Warehouse 242 has entered into a partnership with the next generation of Africa. Currently, they work with A Better World after-school program that serves at-risk youth of Charlotte. As part of this program,children have the opportunity to take a photography class and create their own portfolio to communicate how they see the world. The photography class and curriculum will be mirrored with children in Botswana, and the two groups of children will begin trading pictures via blog. These pictures will be utilized in subsequent gallery shows and guests will also be able to follow their progress through blog entries.

The gallery opening will kick off the start of this photography program and educate guests on income generating models and the opportunities currently available in Malawi and Zimbabwe. The artwork and t-shirts will be on sale and available for purchase. All proceeds will go towards the Africa fund with Warehouse 242.

The event will run from 7pm to 10pm, on May 29, 2009. For more information, visit www.warehouse242.org.


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