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 ROSEMARY’S GARDEN

Kalungi is a tiny ancient village that smells like fabrics and flowers.  Hidden in lush jungle in a remote southern province of Uganda called Raiki, Kalungi is a ravishingly beautiful, colorful paradise with an abundance of enormous palm and mango trees.  But where are all the men?   It is difficult to comprehend that this Garden of Eden is the Worldwide Birthplace of AIDS.

Over the past three years, I have been photographing Rosemary Namirembe and her five children.  They live in a brightly painted dollhouse-like house in Kalungi that is ringed by a tiny flower garden that Rosemary maintains religiously. Rosemary is an AIDS widow who suffers from the disease herself.

These photographs are the result of my nonverbal collaboration with Rosemary and her family that has developed over the years.  They are studies of authentic beauty in the center of one of the most devastated and remote places on earth.  Gritty yet beautiful, Rosemary and her family are neither idealized nor portrayed as helpless victims, but rather as complex individuals with recognizable universal emotions.

The color palate always plays a major role in my photographs.  I am viscerally attracted to the golden, dusty light and the vivid colors of Africa.  Nowhere is it more magical than in Kalungi Village at dusk.