"AIDS in Africa is
claiming more lives than the sum total of all wars, famines,
floods and ravages of deadly diseases."
Nelson Mandela, XIII International AIDS Conference, Durban
Positive Responses to
HIV is an international photographic project portraying the
personal stories of men, women and children living with or
affected by HIV/AIDS.
Photographer Jean Mohr likes trying
to build bridges. Born in Geneva in 1925 of German extraction,
he suffered exclusion and harassment during his adolescence
and was treated as a "dirty Kraut" in 1939. "I
was a sitting target," he says without trace of bitterness.
For Jean Mohr, building bridges is
to get closer to others and to cross frontiers of all kinds.
His first such "crossing" took him to the Middle
East in 1949 where he enlisted as a delegate first for the
ICRC and then for UNRWA (the United Nations' agency dealing
with Palestinian refugees). For two years, this economic and
social sciences graduate looked after Palestinian refugees
in the camps in Hebron and Jericho. That was when he bought
his first camera, a German-made Exacta. He then became a painter,
taking up residence in Paris. At 30, it was time for another
career change: photographer. His new profession was to take
him to almost every corner of the earth on photographic missions
for the UN High Commission for Refugees, UNRWA, the ICRC,
the Federation and many others. At the same time, through
the eye of his camera, Jean Mohr has undertaken a more esoteric
kind of research, exploring the visual treasures offered by
nature and the mysterious effects of time on various everyday
objects and places.
Glancing through Jean Mohr's rich and unusual works, you frequently
come across the theme of displacement, refuge and exclusion.
When he encounters "outcasts", he feels an empathy
with them, an echo no doubt of his own experience. Then, gently,
he begins to build bridges - his own special way of taking
A photographer's journey, Jean Mohr, CD-rom French/English.
After the last sky, Palestinian
lives, Edward Sahid and Jean Mohr, Columbia University
Another way of telling, John Berger and Jean Mohr,
Uncontrolled self-portrait, Geneva,