Positive Kids 3: Through Their Eyes
The event is a solo photography exhibition by Haik Kocharian, at the James Cohan Gallery (533 West 26th St), featuring photographs documenting African Services’ HIV programs in Ethiopia. The benefit cocktail gallery for this one-night event is on May 17, 7-9pm; individual tickets are $100.
In the event’s third year, African Services Committee has teamed up with Kocharian to put a face to the widening circle of children and their families who against all odds are now thriving thanks to access to HIV treatment and small business loans from African Services’ Positive Kids events. Attendees will get a raw and inspiring look at the families benefiting from the work of African Services’ through the lens of Kocharian.
“I have long had an interest in Ethiopia,” Kocharian explains when asked about his involvement in the project. “It has a lot of similarities to Armenia, where I was born…the strong Christian Orthodox influence, its similar alphabet, and land-locked geography. When I joined with African Services a long-time dream and desire became a purpose.”
Since 2003, African Services Committee has worked on the frontlines of the global HIV pandemic in Ethiopia. With three community-based HIV clinics in operation, ASC has provided testing and care to over 80,000 people. Kocharian was given rare behind-the-scenes access into the lives of the children and families benefiting from the treatment and care provided by African Services’, and with this he presents the power and resilience of his subjects.
“I would like people to have an opportunity to look through a window with me,” explains Kocharian about the exhibition. “We are showing simple stories of children and their families as they struggle, yet they are looking optimistically toward the future. I hope people will make an emotional connection, and realize that at the core we are all the same, and we all need each other. By reaching out and helping, we are all improving our own lives, and ultimately creating a better world.”
Born in Armenia, Haik Kocharian has lived in New York City since 1996. Kocharian pursued film directing at Brooklyn College where he eventually shifted the focus of his studies to photography; ultimately creating a unique photojournalistic style that combines all of these influences. Kocharian’s work has been exhibited in notable venues around the city including New York’s 92YTribeca, Robin Rice Gallery, Galerie Mourlot, Village Quill Writer’s Space, Soho Photo Gallery, and the legendary Puck Building. Additionally, his images have also been widely published in international magazines such as Smithsonian Magazine, Elle, and Madame Figaro.