Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 5th 2014 Contents B8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, June 5, 2014
Aids activists around the
world recently celebrated the
International Aids Candlelight
Memorial, one of the world s
oldest and largest grassroots
mobilisation campaigns for
HIV awareness in the world.
This memorial ceremony,
took on special meaning for staff
of the HIV Awareness Unit of
the Ministry of the People and
Social Development, as a result
of the recent passing of Aids-
activist Lorna Hamilton-Henry.
Hamilton-Henry spent her
life on the battle lines of the
fight against HIV/Aids. She
committed herself to a lifetime
of activism continuously sharing
her story at various events
aimed at addressing stigma and
discrimination with the Min-
istry s staff and clients.
A release from the Ministry
of the People said in T&T,
affects women and girls.
National statistics indicate
that women account for forty
five percent of HIV cases, and
seventy percent of new infec-
tions in the 15-24 age group.
Many of our cultural norms
still marginalise women and
enable the spread of the virus.
These include low condom
usage, multiple sexual partners,
and domestic violence. Hamil-
ton-Henry understood this.
Despite widespread awareness
of HIV/Aids, it remains difficult
to have open, honest conversa-
tions with people in T&T about
their sexual lifestyles. At the
first event held by the HIV
Coordinating Unit of the Min-
istry, to commemorate Inter-
national Women s Day 2008,
Hamilton-Henry disclosed her
status to the public. This was
her way of starting the fight
against the rampant HIV stigma
and discrimination experienced
by infected persons with HIV.
The release added that too
many women lack positive con-
trol over choices regarding their
sex and reproduction options.
Poverty continues to affect more
women than men in the society,
and as a consequence limits
their ability to effectively access
information about HIV.
The late Nelson Mandela once
said, "For every woman infected
by HIV, we destroy a genera-
As we continue the battle to
effect behaviour change and
achieve zero new infections, it
is impossible to discount the
work of activists like Hamilton-
She was a formidable force
and the staff of the Ministry
admired her positivity and
resilience in spite of the many
challenges she faced. Hamilton-
Henry used every opportunity
to heighten awareness of the
HIV/Aids pandemic and
demonstrated that one can live
a positive fulfilling life with HIV.
HIV/Aids is no longer a death
We must however continue
to empower women and shine
a light on the challenges we face
as a nation in reducing the stig-
ma, and increasing resources in
the fight against HIV/Aids.
Keeping the light
Commissioned artist Anthony Boos
paints anything, once it s interesting
and preferably real.
His exhibition Reflections: An Exhi-
bition of Artistic Diversity, at 12 Fitt
Street, Woodbrook, demonstrates just
"When you reflect on something you
think to what you ve done so it s reflect-
ing my artistic style over the past seven
years. It s very diverse---from stealing
cocoa to old homes to surrealistic pant-
ings to the Caroni Swamp," Boos said,
as he walked the T&T Guardian through
the pieces of art, giving the story of each.
As the stories unfolded, one realised
that the acrylic paintings reflected the
diversity of the man behind the brush---
a faithful Catholic and passionate mas-
man with a wide imagination and pleas-
ant boyhood memories.
"This here is down Cocorite, where
we used to go swim as kids," he said,
describing one of his pieces, Our
Favourite Swim Hole. Moving on to
another one, O Happy Days, which
showed a group of young boys fishing
in Blanchisseuse, he said, "I used to
love to rock fish down in the Blue River
with fellas from Kelly Village...I always
Sacred Heart Church, which depicted
a church alongside a river in Maracas
Valley, took the 66-year-old realist
painter back to the days when he camped
outdoors with his father. "This is Maracas
Valley in the thirties.
This is Marsden s Bridge, a famous
bridge, and this was the first church in
Maracas Valley and was built by the
Marsden family and in fact used to be
called the white man s church. It s no
longer there. I used to go there when I
was five years old with my father and
we used to camp there. It was a beautiful
river at the time."
Assigned to a special room, 13 of his
51 paintings were icons---images that
resembled snapshots from the movie
Passion of the Christ and spoke to his
strong Catholic faith and genesis in the
arts. Describing himself as a Carnival
person whose early art years were ded-
icated to mas in south, he introduced
his single Carnival piec, Carnival Callaloo,
which captured nine costume designs
in one painting.
"These are costumes some of which
have not even hit the stage yet. One of
them will be shown next year, which is
Crapaud Smoke Yuh Pipe."
"Do you see the diversity?" he
inquired, as we moved along.
Some of his works, like The Glory
Tree and My Utopia, had no historical
significance, being the result of pure
Others--like McLeod s House, an old
colonial house which once stood mag-
nificently north of St Mary s Junction,
Freeport; Martinez D Cocoa Man, a Vin-
centian who supervised a cocoa estate
in Maracas Valley; and the Talipot Palm,
a native plant of Sri Lanka found in
Trinidad which flowers once in its life-
time---came to him instinctively.
"I don t rely on one source of stimulus.
It could be anything. For instance, I
might see a vagrant on the road who I
find looks interesting and I ll take a pho-
tograph and put him down.
This is a spiritual thing. What moti-
vates you to do something? You don t
know. It comes from nowhere yet every-
where. That s what inspiration is about."
Boos' exhibition continues until June
7 at 12 Fitt Street, Woodbrook. For
more information, call 792-7357.
Artist Anthony Boos paints anything
Anthony Boos with his painting of the Talipot Palm.
PHOTOS: MARYANN AUGUSTE
Aids activist Lorna Hamilton-
Henry who recently passed
away was described as "a
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