Conversations with the Living: The Haitian AIDS Crisis

The official blog of Conversations with the Living

Archive for March 2011

Production Diary: 2 years and counting…

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13:24 EST: Haven’t posted for a while. During that time, we’ve cranked out a final version of a projected narrative for our packages. It took a bit longer than thought but at least it’s done and we seem satisfied with it. Am now cutting a teaser to go with our upcoming Indie GoGo campaign. Have consolidated everything that should be going into it but now just have to figure out a strategy of dealing with it. First issue is mixing HD footage with SD footage. Second issue is mixing sharp as nails HD footage with grainy like a beach SD footage. The color in the SD footage is also really flat so correcting it will be a chore. On top of that, the way things are working out in my head, there will be four or five different color schemes for every shot. Finally, I need to figure out how to best split the screen up among multiple screens. Have just finished doing some rendering. I believe my computer hates me. That’s all.

Also, if you haven’t already, check out our beta official site: http://conversationswiththelivingofficial.wordpress.com/ GC has been putting in a lot of work in getting quality posts on the site. If you need to keep up with the latest news about Haiti and HIV/AIDS, it’s got what you need.

– ML

India-EU Free Trade Agreement and the HIV+

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We reported on a proposed India-EU Free Trade Agreement back in November that has medical professionals, activists, and patients concerned that millions of HIV sufferers in the developing world will be without the drugs they need to survive.

Today, people in India have taken to the streets to demand that pharmaceutical companies, which stand to gain enormous profits from obtaining rights to create and distribute drugs at a price they see fit, do not block access to those that need the medication to survive.

Although the European Union denies that the agreement will negatively impact India’s generic medicine industry or patients access to these medications, there is little transparency, and until a draft of the agreement is made available criticism and concern over its contents will continue from medical professionals, HIV/AIDS activists and patients.

Here is the link to our posting in November.

https://conversationswiththeliving.wordpress.com/2010/11/13/constant-state-of-emergency/

Stay tuned for production updates…

Production Diary Day: 67 + 2 Years

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10:00 PST: It has been a while since I’ve posted. The last couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur. I have been so engaged in the day to day and I’m just now finding my bearings, taking note of all that has happened and wrapping my mind around what it all means.  I have even managed to go a few days without speaking to ML, which rarely happens. We will be catching up Sunday via phone.

So, we are overdue for a Conversations Production update.

Now that ML has nailed down the narrative, the few gaps that still need patching up are awaiting the expertise of a few of our contacts in Haiti. I have reached out to Dr. Marie Deschamps at GHESKIO, who has received international recognition for her contributions to HIV/AIDS care and is an incredible advocate for the women and children of Haiti.

I’ve also reached out a few times to John Dieubon, co-founder of Planting Peace, who runs the daily operations of their orphanages in Haiti. John is also the founder of Project Papillon, which manages 4 orphanages, and a neighborhood school (Ayiti Papillon Academy).

We have received word from the Rainbow House (Maison l’Arc-en-Ciel), which was founded in 1996 and is a 24-hour medical care for children receiving antiviral medication for HIV. They also serve as a residence for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS and function as an outreach center for approximately 100 families affected by HIV/AIDS.  Perhaps, most importantly they provide education and training to community-based organizations, enabling them to address medical and social issues surrounding HIV/AIDS in their communities.

This message of acceptance and engagement of young individuals affected by HIV in their communities is part of what our film explores and what these organizations advocate in the communities in which they work.

So while awaiting response in order to set-up phone calls or additional correspondence, I am writing grants and making use of every millisecond available.

I’ll leave you with a thought (which is another posting altogether). With the explosion of revolutionary movements sweeping the Middle East and Africa (although with little media attention on Africa) people are making their voices heard and are demanding democracy. Rulers across the region and the world are scared that decades of control will vanish when the powerful force of the people takes hold – people willing to die for freedom from misery and the possibility of democracy. Even here in the US the assault on democracy is and has been under severe attack, and the working people and the poor have had enough.

I am left thinking about a supposed Haitian “democracy” that has proven to leave its citizens with no homes, no work, no health care, and no real government support for decades.  As the Haitian runoff elections approach, the choices Haitians are left will quite possibly lead to more of the same.  As always, our hope remains that Haiti’s next leader will oversee its government and people with an agenda for real change, but if it is more of the same, what will the Haitian people do?

Thank you for reading our production blog – please also check out and subscribe to our official site on word press for daily news updates on Haiti brought to you by GC.

http://conversationswiththelivingofficial.wordpress.com/

– LC