Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi
I didn't really know about the photographer until just recently when a friend of mine living in Paris shared this amazingly diverse list of 34 women photographers that Time Magazine put together. Many amazing artists there so go ahead, explore, learn , and check them out.
Now back to what brought you here. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi is a powerful photo reportage focused on four men who live with HIV in Oasis de San Juan de Dios, what seems to be the only location who would help them out somewhere in a dry Mexican desert. These outcasts men/women live alienated by society due to their sexual orientation and deadly health issues however they live a life of faith; heads up and looking forward to the future.
For me, I have mixed feelings about the pictures. It makes me happy to know they are able to express who they are and be themselves no matter what. But you can clearly see they are definitely not in their best time of their lives. I have a sense of sadness noting how their hands are tied with a lack of financial stability, government support and maybe their family members are not even helping them out.
That poor man that is about to die is silently suffering a very slow death. The kids and everybody else know that but what else can be done? I just wish this kind of photography can raise awareness for gender equality issues, aids, HIV, social inequality, and more. Photography can be a powerful voice for these men. I'm doing my part but what can you do? See the sharing buttons below? Click and spread the word! It may seem something unimportant but it does help.
For more of Meeri Koutaniemi's photography work please visit her website, see the rest of the images in the series and let me know your thoughts.