African filmmaker
tackles AIDs issues


Documentary filmmaker Philippe Talavera will talk about "Visually Fighting AIDS in Namibia, Africa" through the use of documentary film in a special presentation at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 in Yeager Recital Hall that is being co-sponsored by the School of Communications.

An HIV/AIDS activist, filmmaker and head of the Red Ribbon campaign in Namibia, Talavera is Elon's second Periclean-in-Residence as part of Project Pericles, a national initiative that encourages civic engagement and social responsibility among college students.

Talavera is director of the Ombetja Yehinga Organization, which specializes in the development of education material about HIV/AIDS for Namibian youth. He has directed and produced several videos and short films to help break taboos and discuss sensitive issues, including "The Hyena's Disease," which makes use of songs and poems written by teenagers in the Kunene region of Namibia.

Namibia, located on the west coast of Africa, has been hit hard by HIV and AIDS. One in four Namibians suffer from HIV infection or AIDS, one of the highest rates on the continent. Elon staff member J. McMerty and Elon faculty member Tom Arcaro spent two weeks in July traveling to Namibia and working on another special Project Pericles-funded mission. They spoke with many concerned Namibians, from leaders of non-profit organizations to teachers with HIV. Their documentary footage is being assembled into educational pieces about the AIDs crisis. Their work ties in with what Talavera is doing.

Talavera will offer two additional public presentations at Elon: at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 23 he will talk about "Empowerment and AIDS in Namibia" in Yeager Recital Hall. This presentation will explore gender issues related to HIV and AIDS; at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 he will present "A Night of Hope" in Whitley Auditorium - this event to promote HIV/AIDS awareness is part of Elon University and Alamance County community night.



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Last Modified: 10/20/03
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