“If we turn an epidemic into an emotion, we motivate change.” – Jonathan Smith
In his film, Jonathan Smith – an epidemiologist and Director of the Visual Ethnography Project at Yale University – aims to put humanity back into research. He’s invited into the homes of four mine workers living with HIV/TB co-infection and, in the broader context of human life, he takes viewers beyond cold epidemiological data and into the lives of the men. They are not unlike many others seeking work in the South African mining industry. But not all work is created equal: poorly ventilated mines are perfect terrain for TB transmission, and mines, combined with HIV, are currently the two largest driving factors of the TB epidemic in South Africa.
The message is simple: mine workers become sick and they go home to die because they’re not provided with the essential health care or medicine required to keep them alive. But death is not inevitable: HIV/TB co-infection is largely preventable and treatable – so long as there’s the will to do it.
Jonathan is on a mission to do just that: he’s seeking to raise enough funds to complete post-production of the film with the hope that viewers, like you, will create the pressure and impetus necessary to improve the working conditions in mines and impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of workers looking to make an honest living.
Interested in meeting Jonathan in person? Join him in Vancouver at UBC for a viewing of the film!