PositHIV+ is the result of a collaboration between Pep Bonet, Rozenberg Publishers, Médecins Sans Frontières Holland and MSF Spain, which aims to show that HIV+/AIDS is now a treatable disease.
There is no straight and limiting constructive narrative in Bonet’s work here. Instead we have strong single images documenting the support that MSF provides to the daily life of HIV+/AIDS patients living with antiretroviral (ARV) drugs in six different African countries; Zambia, DRC, Angola, Rwanda, Kenya, South Africa.
ARV drugs allow HIV+/AIDS patients to regain their everyday life, allowing them to go back to work, earn money, look after their family and bring new hope for their future.
What I like the most about Pep Bonet's work is the positivism and the simplicity of his beautifully composed images. The photos are charged with honesty.
The book is smartly designed, small and square, easy to flick through and to handle. The pictures have greatest impact in the first half of the book printed on a black background; the second half printed on a more classical white paper. The mix of rich colour images and black and white photographs works harmoniously, as does the mix of 35mm and medium format pictures. Accompanying the photographs is an essay by renowned journalist John Carlin as well as a story by writer Maria Goos, reporting on her 12 days in Nchelenge in Zambia.
The real hope and challenge presented to us so eloquently here by Pep Bonet – to MSF, to picture editors, to audiences – is to make positive images the norm from the African continent rather than the exception.