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The Impact that Photography has had on raising Public Awareness of the AIDS Epidemic in Africa

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  1. Introduction
    1. Even though it is often difficult for the layman to understand why an artist chooses a specific subject or medium, there are instances in which the average viewer can discern the reason and purpose of artwork.
  2. Photography and AIDS in Africa
    1. AIDS Epidemic in Africa
    2. Photography and AIDS
  3. Conclusion
    1. Photographs have the power to inspire and empower.

Introduction
Artwork is created for a number of reasons. For instance, artwork may reflect the artist's inner conflict as he or she strives towards evolution. At the same time artwork can serve as the artist's interpretation of larger society and culture. In most instances, the viewer, examining the artwork may find it difficult to discern why the artist has created the work. This invariably adds to the work's enigma.
Even though it is often difficult for the layman to understand why an artist chooses a specific subject or medium, there are instances in which the average viewer can discern the reason and purpose of artwork. Such is the case with the photography that has been collected and displayed on the subject of the AIDS epidemic in South Africa. Thanks to the painstaking efforts of photographers from all over the world, the photographs of the AIDS epidemic have served as the impetus to raise public awareness about the epidemic and educate society about the true tragedies that are occurring in Africa. Through the photography of the AIDS epidemic in Africa, collective consciousness is increasing and more support and aid is being provided for countries and individuals suffering with this tragedy.

[...] When one considers that the AIDS epidemic in Africa has only recently come to the forefront of public consciousness in developed, nations the realization that infection rates peaked in the 1990s suggests that while various governments and nonprofit organizations were aware of the problem and working to develop solutions, most of the lay community was uninformed about this issue. At the present time however, the number of articles published on the topic of AIDS in Africa continues to proliferate. As such, one cannot help but wonder what has served as the impetus for raising public awareness about an epidemic that has been more than two decades in the making? [...]


[...] Photography and AIDS With the realization that the AIDS epidemic reached its peak in the late 1990s and further that the epidemic has only recently come to the forefront of public attention, it seems reasonable to argue that in recent years some social force has served as the basis for raising awareness about this issue. While it is evident that efforts by nonprofit groups to increase funding for projects in AIDS have had a growing impact on raising consciousness about AIDS in Africa, in order to effectively reach the public, efforts to raise consciousness must clearly have had an emotional hook, elucidating the plight of the African people to the world. [...]

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