Conversations with the Living: The Haitian AIDS Crisis

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CWTL Crew Q&A: Gregory Cassagnol on HIV/AIDS in Haiti

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What is the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Haiti?
One in twenty Haitians in Haiti is infected with HIV/AIDS. That’s a startling statistic for a developed country in the Western Hemisphere.
What is the prognosis for these HIV positive orphans?
The prognosis is grim for many of the HIV + orphans in Haiti. After the 2010 earthquake, the situation has become signifigantly worse. It’s imperative that something is done before Haiti loses a generation of children to HIV/AIDS.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

November 4, 2011 at 3:30 pm

CWTL Crew Q&A: Gregory Cassagnol on why Haiti is important

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Why is Haiti important?
Haiti is important because it’s history, from it’s days as the most profitable of the French colonies in the New World, to it’s historic slave rebellion that birthed a sovereign nation in 1804, on through its current state post the 2010 earthquake; reflects the indomidable will of a people fighting social ills and constant tumult all while mantaining a strong sense of humanity and culture.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 28, 2011 at 3:30 pm

CWTL Crew Q&A: Gregory Cassagnol on the challenges of fundraising for a documentary

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How have you raised funds? Describe your methods and why you chose that methodology.
Our team has self financed production and has raised funds through local fundraising initiatives.
Why Indie Go Go?
Indie Go Go provides the platform for us to reach the individuals that care about stories like ours and see the value of producing this type of dialogue on the broadest stage possible. We need forward thinking and socially responsible people to support us. Indie Go Go helps us reach that group.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

CWTL Crew Q&A: Gregory Cassagnol on producing a documentary in Haiti

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What are some of the difficulties that you’ve faced during production?
I think the biggest obstacle that we’ve faced so far is managing the logistics of production within the many layers of Administration within the Haitian government that a group like ours must maneuver while attempting to tell our story. It’s been a challenge and will continue to be when dealing with such sensitive subject matter.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 14, 2011 at 3:30 pm

CWTL Crew Q&A: Gregory Cassagnol on why HIV/AIDS and Haiti are important

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Why was this subject important to you?
I grew up in New York City as a teenager and young adult when HIV/AIDS made it’s first blip on the Nation’s consciousness. I saw and felt first hand the effects of the stigmas attached to Haitians and their connections to this new and deadly virus. I had family and friends in the community that lost loved ones to HIV/AIDS. My attachment to the subject matter was very personal.

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 7, 2011 at 3:30 pm

CWTL Crew Q&A: What is the prognosis for these HIV positive orphans?

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Marc Landas (Director)

HIV+ orphans face challenges on numerous fronts. Firstly, they have a life-long disease that is still life-threatening. In resource poor environments, that is no small thing. We take it for granted in resource rich countries that HIV is a now a chronic and manageable disease. That is not a given in developing countries around the world. Another major challenge for HIV+ orphans is the ignorance-driven stigma prevalent in countries where the disease carries connotations of homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and physical weakness. Unfortunately, Haiti is one of them. In many ways, the stigma can be just as crippling as the disease. While the orphans may survive the disease, they must do so in secret. They must live lives in fear. Fear of being discovered. Fear of telling the truth. Fear of how others will treat them. Fear of being ostracized. Fear of never finding work. That is no way to live a life but until people get educated to the facts and learn to accept human beings as they are, rather than how they think they should be, that is the life of fear awaiting HIV+ orphans when they grow up.

Help us get back to Haiti and tell our story. Go to http://ow.ly/6kTA2 and Join the Conversation! Donate now!

Written by conversationswiththeliving

October 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm

Tabou Combo, Brasserie Creole, and CWTL

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CWTL set up a table over the weekend at Brasserie Combo in Cambria Heights. We met some fantastic people and had a great time speaking with everyone about the documentary. Tabou Combo remembered a friend that passed on and did it the best way they know how – with music. Here’s a taste of what it was like. (Apologies for the weird angle and the shaky hand.)

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October 4, 2011 at 10:10 am