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Par

Par

 

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Par is a collection of photographs that challenge the bloated-belly, dead-eyed stare that typically characterizes the depiction of poverty in third world countries. When I lived and worked in these remote regions of eastern Africa, poverty was evident but somehow it was not the main focus. Poverty is a circumstance, not an identity, and it is on this realization that I focus my work. These warm, welcoming people are generous and enterprising, resourceful and smart. Just like you and me, they have dreams they work hard to achieve. They are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles—business owners, students, ranchers, doctors, pastors, shepherds. But how can their dignity be preserved if they are only depicted as sick and needy? How can they be empowered if they are only shown at their weakest? By challenging the negative stereotype of poverty, I hope to create a space for these individuals to be seen and thus empowered, heard and thus retain their dignity.