O n March 7th, I received some unexpected correspondence from Harvard University, requesting my participation in their annual International Relations Week event.

Harvard University, a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts established 1636, is one of the world’s most prestigious universities and is the United States’ oldest institution of higher learning. Harvard is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The purpose of Harvard’s International Relations week  in collaboration with Harvard’s Weatherhead Center, is to promote on-campus discussion and awareness of international affairs…

“Dear Mr. Grobl, My name is ­­­­­Nikitha Reddy, and I am an Assistant Director of Harvard International Relations (IR) Week.  I am writing to inquire about your interest and possible participation in our program, which will be held March 28th to April 21st, 2016.  Our series of events aim to shed the spotlight on under-covered issues in international affairs and expose all students on campus, regardless of their academic focus, to the importance of IR through a wide range of topics and formats. As part of our program, one of our events will be an art exhibition that features photojournalism focusing on international conflicts.  We believe your work as a humanitarian photojournalist would be a very exciting addition to the IR Week calendar and this art exhibition.  Not only does your photography document relevant international issues of human trafficking, prostitution, and environmental degradation, but it also provides an extremely intriguing perspective on these conflicts because of your work with NGOs.  We would love to display your photography in an art exhibition as part of IR Week.”

 

Flattered, I wrote back to Nikitha indicating that I would be happy to be involved, but that I wouldn’t be able to personally attend the event. Nikitha responded asking if I could provide images and a biography…long story short, over the course of a few days, I prepared about thirty photos representative of my NGO work in areas of human trafficking, HIV Aids and International Health issues in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.

The images are on Exhibition at Harvard through April 21, 2016, entitled “A Common Humanity”, A Collection of Humanitarian Photojournalism by Karl Grobl.

Below are images of my HIV/AIDS work, submitted to Harvard, which were shot in Cambodia during 2004. Some, but not all of these were used for the International Relations Week Exhibition. (above photos of the exhibition, courtesy of Harvard University)

Kompong Chhnang, Cambodia, 2004: A trainer who is part of an NGO funded anti-HIV/AIDS education program uses educational materials to teach high school students how to help protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Kampong Speu Province, Cambodia, 2004: An HIV positive, single mother earns money by weaving plastic sleeping mats in a small NGO supported workshop.

 Svay Reing Cambodia 2004: End-stage AIDS patient receives palliative care by NGO workers.

Svay Reing Cambodia 2004: End-stage AIDS patient receiving  palliative care by NGO workers embraces her newly born child. HIV status of the child was, at the time of the photo,  unknown.

Kampong Cham, Cambodia 2004: Woman suffering from  HIV/AIDS at home with her grandmother.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2004: Woman suffering from HIV/AIDS is massaged during a routine visit by NGO workers.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2004: Woman suffering from HIV/AIDS is massaged during a routine visit by NGO workers.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2004: Sex workers learn vocational skills in an NGO funded training facility.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: Sex workers meet, as part of an NGO funded program, to learn ways to better protect themselves against sexually transmitted infections.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: Sex workers meet, as part of an NGO funded program, to learn ways to protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted  infections.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: Sex workers receive free condoms to help protect themselvesagainst HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.

 Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: In a brothel, free condoms are available under pillows in each room. Posters on the wall remind sex workers and clients to protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: Sex worker and elderly woman at a brothel in a Phnom Penh slum.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: Sex workers who are part of an NGO funded anti-HIV/AIDS education program,  visit brothels in a slum known as “The White Building”.Using NGO funded educational materials the girls meet with their peers to teach  them how  to help protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: Sex worker with the “Number One” brand condom. While many other brands of condoms are available in Cambodia, the “Number One”, subsidized PSI  is considerably cheaper, retailing for less than 5 cents each.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: Sex workers who are part of an NGO funded anti-HIV/AIDS education program, use NGO funded educational materials to teach their peers how to apply a condom and therefore help protect themselves against HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: Homosexual males at popular gay bar. NGOs programs assist and educate MSM (men who have sex with men) , one of the highest risk groups for HIV/AIDS infection.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: A woman gets here blood tested at an NGO funded health clinic.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, 2004: A woman gets here blood tested at an NGO funded health clinic.

Kompong Speu, Cambodia, 2004: Children surround their father, who is infected with the HIV/AIDS virus.

 Kompong Speu, Cambodia, 2004: A young girl and her siblings surround their father, who is infected with the HIV/AIDS virus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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