ISOLATED – THE VISION STATEMENT

During various times of my life, I have felt an acute sense of being isolated. I believe most people experience this mental state and that, in fact, it’s part of the human condition. But in some circumstances, isolation is taken to an extreme. It is these situations, both emotional and physical, that I am drawn to.

Over the past eight years, I have photographed six projects attempting to explore the concept of being isolated -- in terms of people and communities as well as physical locations. 

Communities that are isolated can be discriminated against, shunned, ridiculed and ostracized, usually the result of fear and ignorance. Conversely, people can isolate themselves, often as the result of shame – the pain caused by feeling worthless because of circumstances or conduct. In another sense, we can feel physically isolated when we are in a distant place or in a location that is foreign to us. A locale itself, usually because of geography, can also be isolated.

My visual studies of the emotionally isolated include a series of portraits. The subjects include an international gathering of activists in Mexico affected by the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS (INFECTED & AFFECTED), parents and children living with HIV/AIDS in Cape Town, South Africa (IN THE FACE OF AFFLICTION), and LGBT homeless youth in New York City whose families have shunned them (NEW ALTERNATIVES).

The visual studies of the physically isolated locations include landscapes of Antarctica and the Arctic that illustrate how the regions have been affected by global warming (THE ANTARCTICA:  BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE) and (THE ARCTIC: POINT OF NO RETURN). And I have also done a visual study on a politically and geographically isolated nation (CUBA: A COUNTRY SUSPENDED IN TIME).

These photographic projects are my attempt to lead the viewer to a better understanding of both isolation and interconnectedness – so that we can aspire to treat each other and our planet better.