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June 21, 2010

Much More To Heal

Much More To Heal

The fight against HIV-AIDS in Africa is a matter of two steps forward and one step back, as Catherine Piwang knows well. People were just beginning to talk about this mysterious new disease when she left Uganda in the late 80s. When she returned in 1996, seven of her siblings had died of HIV-AIDS and two more were gravely ill. Her mother died soon after. The village had been transformed into a place with children and old people, and nothing in between.

Catherine talks with Dick Gordon about what she did from there: first she build a preschool for AIDS orphans in her mother's old house. Then she found her way to Northern Uganda, which has been hit by both AIDS and the brutal Lord's Resistance Army, to work with young women. That's where Catherine met Mary, a woman she's now adopted as a mother. She says forming new, unconventional families could be part of the key to healing Africa.


Recovered History

When Dave Mata snagged a temporary job clearing out a Chicago warehouse back in 2007, he had no idea that a discovery he made there would change his life, as well as that of one of the city’s first black news photographers. Howard Simmons had once had his studio in that warehouse. But after moving out in 1990, he was unable to get back in. He didn’t realize how many historic negatives and prints had been left behind. Seventeen years of junk had been piled on top, until Dave made his discovery and located Howard. Some of the photos were just featured in an exhibition, with Dave as an honored guest. Now the two men are planning other projects together.

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