By Tim Yap (The Philippine Star) Updated December 12, 2009 12:00 AM
MANILA, Philippines - The Fashion Walk on Greenbelt 5 had a different buzz that night. A photo exhibit, with personalities from all walks of the visual spectrum, was the centerpiece that gathered scenesters from the style set. The iconic AIDS ribbon was the unifying factor that weaved through the portraits, all shot by Headshot Clinic head honcho Niccolo Cosme.
From being a project that empowered social networking fanatics by giving their profile picture a boost, the Headshot Clinic has now gone full force into advocacy, adopting the issue of AIDS and HIV awareness in the Philippines via digital photography as main medium of representation. The word of mouth is fast, as publicity is done through prevailing social networks, each profile pic probably taken at one of the Headshot Clinic projects.
Same time last year, UNAIDS supports The Headshot Clinic: AWARE to spread the issues and facts of HIV and AIDS. This year, UNAIDS and Project Headshot Clinic are working together once again to call for ACTION in fighting the spreading of HIV and AIDS. “It is a sad realization that as much as we are aware of the dangers, still more and more people are diagnosed with the desease — and so we have to MOVE,” said the photographer devoted to this cause.
The UNAIDS director Teresita Bagasao started work on HIV awareness back in the ’80s. She met one heterosexual woman who transmitted HIV from her husband. “If it happened to her, it can happen to me, too,” said Miss Bagasao, who asked to be called Bai. “A few years back, there was one case reported every three to four days. Now it is three to four cases of HIV infection every day. The numbers have risen,” Bai spoke in a calm and clear manner over cocktails at Greenbelt while walking through Niccolo Cosme’s portraits of people.
“We will fight it together, everyone has a voice and it should be heard,” said the visionary photographer who uses his distinctive style of hyper reality, for a purpose.
To date, the Headshot Clinic project has taken more than 5,000 headshots locally and abroad, and is continually spreading the call for freedom of expression. Niccolo believes that photography is his way of helping out, and has indeed conceptually created change, through his lenses.
Your move, up next.
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