Members of the HIV community and allies came together at the Atrium in Federation Square on 20 June to unite and celebrate those who have stood up against the HIV-related stigma. Close to fifty people attended the launch of the ENUF images ENUF voices Photographic Prize in an effort to raise awareness for HIV-related stigma. The ENUF campaign’s goal is to reducing HIV-related stigma. This competition saw entrants use photography to represent what stigma and/or resilience means to them and include a short narrative describing their journey with HIV-stigma.
The competition was open to all people living with HIV and had an array of judges who are strong supporters of the HIV community including Laurina Fleure, Rowena Allen, Professor Sharon Lewin, Dr Alyson Campbell, Christabel Millar and Daniel Burke. One of the judges, Daniel Burke, is a photographer by trade and fully supports the aim of the ENUF program.
“A picture can evoke emotion and this competition gives people the chance to capture their experiences in a way that sometimes can’t be put into just words,” said Burke.
The winning photo was a picture of a lock and chain. Although the winner chose to remain anonymous, their narrative was powerful.
“Lockdown represents the closing and hardening of myself, not against the world but for it. My resilience to fight comes from taking stock of what I have, and have always had, without realising it, and protecting it. We are all in this together and just like are stronger for this. Small parts in an ever strengthening and ever growing chain.”
Second and third place winners, Susan Paxton and Dean Beck, respectively, were over the moon to be included in the top three. When asked why they felt compelled to enter this competition, both agreed that it is part of their duty as a member of the HIV community to break down HIV-stigma. They both felt their contribution was more important than the actual reward for their entry and were just happy to be a part of this exhibition.
Beck also added, “It is absolutely incumbent upon all positive people who live out, loud, and proud to support those who do not. To uplift and empower them to be able to be whole in self and contribute to society.”
The exhibition is located in a high traffic area which means that the stories of stigma and reliance will reach a wide demographic of people.
One attendee noted that “Even if one person looks at these photos and reads the narratives attached and it gives them some level of understanding about HIV-stigma and how prevalent it is, then this art exhibition has been a success.”
The ENUF images ENUF voices exhibition will run until Saturday 24 June 2017. Those wanting to add their voice and stand up against HIV stigma can sign the ENUF pledge at enuf.org.au