Adversity intensifies art
My time at the hiv centre for girls in surat, india
SPRING OF 2019 I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF VISITING THE HIV CENTRE IN SURAT, INDIA TO HOST AN ART COMPETITION FOR GIRLS WITH HIV. I WANTED TO REVEAL A CONCRETE MESSAGE THROUGH THEIR ARTWORK SO I ASKED THE GIRLS TO ANSWER THE QUESTION:
WHAT DO YOU VALUE?
I WALKED INTO THE EXPERIENCE KNOWING I'D BE LEFT WITH A CHANGED UNDERSTANDING OF THE HIV COMMUNITY IN INDIA. BUT THE OUTCOME TAUGHT ME SO MUCH MORE ABOUT MY OWN WORLD THAN I COULD HAVE EVER PREDICTED.
TAKE A LOOK AT WORKS COMPLETED BY SEVERAL OF THE GIRLS.
HOVER OVER THE IMAGES TO LEARN MORE.
Artist: “This is eye donation”
Me: “Will you do eye donation?”
355,200 Indians were blind due to corneal blindness in 2019. Corneal blindness requires a corneal transplant.
After facing the loss/abandonment of their parents, several of these young girls turn up at the HIV Centre. The artist of this image arrived only 2 weeks earlier. She was 3 years old.
Active since 2010 through NGO Action India, Save the Girl Child focuses on shifting Indian societal norms to accept and honor female newborns as much as males. Doing so reduces the abuse, abandonment, and disrespect of girls, leading to a safer world for all women in general.
Artist: "India is one of the only countries which has natural beauty like trees, rivers, and mountains among all other natural things so I have made this picture of our natural beauty”~ age 13
Me: “Why did you select it?”
Artist: “I like this mission: save water. It should be communicated to all. Save water. We need water always.”
Creating art based on their values
Artist: "No matter what always be happy and keep smiling”
Translation of the words: Hey bro, difficulties are always going to be there
The WORLDVIEW that these individuals INTEGRATE inTO their ARTWORK SHEDS LIGHT UPON relevant obstacles facing humanity-BEYOND THE WESTERN HEMISPHERE.
BY empathizing with THEIR PERSPECTIVES, the CREATIONS MADE BY THESE GIRLS can inspire us all to address such universal issues.
Me: “What did you make?”
Artist: “It is to help with the pollution.”
Me: “Lots of pollution has spread?”
Me: “Do you have a cold?”
Exposure to pollutants has been found to cause inflammation in the respitory system along with other major cold symptoms.
Artist: “I like this rangoli (artwork). I liked making it a lot. I have made three things: happy, sad, and angry. Always be happy and do not use these two words: sad and angry. Take them out from life and always be happy”~ age 12
the identities of the girls must remain anonymous so their names and faces have been blurred*
Artist: “We should not cut tree as they provide us oxygen. Also, water should be kept pollution free”
Word Translation: We should plant trees. Do not cut trees. We get oxygen.~ age 13