Facilitated by UAF Psychology undergraduate student Gabriel Cartagena, this exhibition is the outcome of a four month long Photovoice project in partnership with the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Interior AIDS Association, and members of the Fairbanks HIV/AIDS community.
Photovoice is a qualitative research method that uses photography to visually address topics that affect communities. For this project specifically, each week participants decided on a topic for photography which informed the images they captured and discussed. After taking photographs, participants wrote descriptions about how their images related to their interpretation of the topic and their experience of living with HIV/AIDS. In this way, Photovoice was used as a visual platform to cultivate discussion for issues that impact individuals with HIV/AIDS such as, health care, stigma and coping.
This exhibition offers education to our community by addressing the multitude of aspects of living with HIV/AIDS, while also addressing existing stigmas surrounding HIV/AIDS survivorship from the perspective of survivors. Additionally, this exhibition offers viewers the opportunity to donate to the Interior Aids Association, which provides food, shelter, medication, and quality health care for the HIV/AIDS community in Fairbanks.
With this showing, we hope to educate our community, contribute to the empowerment of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS by offering a platform for community members to share their stories, and furthermore help dissolve negative preconceptions by increasing awareness of the realities of living with HIV or AIDS.