The Visual Economy of HIV/AIDS

The Visual Economy of HIV/AIDS project sets out to analyze, in an almost scientific fashion, the way HIV/AIDS have been presented to the world through photography since the virus first appeared in 1981, in order to determine if the pictures we are seeing are telling us the whole story. The site lays out the systematic guidelines for analysis, looking at front page photos from major UK and American newspapers and publications as well as documentary series by particular photojournalists, looking to see if, among other things, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is more often being portrayed using the recognized “African disaster” iconography, or is it being shown in terms of threat to global human and economic security? This is site is based on a 2008 report for the AIDS, Security and Conflict Initiative, and with its academic language and text-heavy pages, it is not designed for the casual web surfer. It is, however, a serious resource for anyone interested in knowing more about how the evolving story of the HIV/AIDS pandemic is being presented to us.

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