April 2007

Amanda Koster
[artist website]

This month Newspace will be exhibiting the work of Seattle photographer Amanda Koster in a powerful one-woman show. Kosters photographs, both stunning fine-art and provocative documentary, portray the plight of the AIDS epidemic in the small village of Rabuor, Kenya. Newspace received a project grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to support a workshop and presentation by the artist the weekend of the exhibition opening. Susan Anstine, Program Director of the Rabuor Village Project (the NGO Koster worked with in Kenya) will also present a lecture on the groups work to find innovative and sustainable solutions to the challenges of poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa.

In March and April of 2004 Amanda Koster traveled to Rabuor, Kenya for Rabuor Village Project (RVP) to document through photos, video and stories what 12 million AIDS orphans and widows really look like. Amanda decided that instead of a smattering of photos and statistics she wanted to take more of “a day in the life” of Rabuor hoping this would offer better insight into the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

“We are oversaturated with negativity about the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. Positive stories do exist and must be told. Spreading feelings of anxiety and hopelessness have historically crushed people and civilizations. We must focus on the positive; we must look for collaborative solutions. Africa has been around for a very long time and will survive this awful disease. We must seek stories of dedication, devotion and survival in Africa, because they are there.”