It is the light, it is the curl in the corners of her mouth, it is the sparkle in her eyes, and it is the unedited and untainted laughter. It is a child that does not yet understand the meaning of poverty. It is the child that has not yet seen the violence and destruction so prevalent in the world. It is the child that lost their mother to AIDS, disease, war, famine or child birthing complications, yet remains joyous and youthful despite the suffering.
It is the mother that lost her child, but goes on with admirable strength to care for her family. The woman who breaks barriers in hopes of an education, or the woman that walks for miles just to get a simple check up. The light, the strength, the hope and the dignity.
Dignity: The quality or state of being worthy of esteem or respect. Nobility of character, manner or language.
A home: a place to rest, to eat and to be. The dirt floor, the crowded rooms, the lantern, and the outhouse do not detract from the fact that a home is a home. Over 1.4 billion people live in extreme poverty around the world. Yet, the human spirit perseveres.
In a world where everyday 7500 people are infected by HIV and 5500 people die of AIDS, where Malaria takes more than 100,000 lives a year in Uganda, where children are left motherless, where families are torn apart, joy could seem unattainable. Yet, the faces tell another tale. The faces show life.
These photographs form part of a larger body of work entitled Forward Focus, whose mission is to spotlight the interpersonal connections that transcend race, class, politics & socio-economics, portraying the richness of life & the enduring human spirit -regardless of circumstance. Celebrating family, culture, community and play through the joy, pain, and love of everyday living.
Narrative by Anika Amon and Leslie Alsheimer