The Guardy and the Shame

HIV and the Jamaican Church: A Multimedia Presentation

In December 2013 and early 2014, writer Kwame Dawes and photographer Andre Lambertson traveled to Jamaica to investigate the experience of people living with HIV/AIDS there, including how they endure homophobia and shame in the largely Christian culture. This multimedia presentation incorporates the documentary “To Disclose or Not?” as well as eight video poems produced in response to that trip.

These nine works are companion pieces to the Dawes’s article “The Guardy and the Shame” and his poems in the Winter 2015 issue of VQR. 

Reported and narrated by Dawes with Lambertson’s photography and video, “To Disclose or Not?: HIV and the Jamaican Church” was edited by Leese Katsnelson. The video poems“Sound,” “Faith Healing,” “When We Pray,” “Elegy for a Candle Maker,” “The Body, “The Burning,” “Baptist of Dust,” and “The 1.7 Percent Remnant”were also written and narrated by Dawes with photography by Lamberston; they were edited by Robin Bell.

The reporting, photography, video, and multimedia production were supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

VQR would like to thank Ram Devineni for producing the multimedia presentation of these works.

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Published: June 13, 2015

Andre Lambertson is a New York–based photojournalist, filmmaker, and teacher. His award-winning photo essays have appeared in Time, US News and World Report, Life, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine. His photographs appeared, accompanied by Kwame Dawes’s poems, in the Summer 2010 issue of VQR.