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Best of the Web

Best of the Web

Voices From the Field
Photographer John X. Carey traveled to Africa in the summer of 2010 to make a film for the nonprofit Project Concern International. The composition, light and color of the film, “Voices From the Field,” reveal the stunning beauty of those involved with Project Concern.  The humanitarian relief organization was started after Dr. Jim Turpin saved the lives of two young girls who should have been in intensive care. Shortly after helping them, the doctor read the words of John Donne,  “Any man’s death diminishes me.”  They resonated with him as he realized that if he had lost the girls he would have lost a part of himself.  Turpin then gave up his practice to help those who are being ravaged by the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

The Last Book
“The Last Book” is part of a new feature of VII magazine called the Words.  Photographer Gary Knight and writer Beth Macy interviewed and photographed former U.S. poet laureate Donald Hall. The aging poet had spent much of his life ruminating about death. The first line of poetry he wrote when he was 12 was, “Have you ever thought of the nearness of death to you?” At the age of 80, after finishing his year as poet laureate, Hall felt as if he were running out of words. His health had collapsed and he thought he was in the last chapters of his life. “The Last Book” looks at the poet coming to grips with mortality and loss only to be reinvigorated by a new girlfriend and a quick trip to the doctor.

Coming Out
Since the much-publicized suicide of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University freshman who jumped from the George Washington Bridge after he discovered that his roommate had outed him by streaming a romantic moment between himself and another man, stories of gay youths dealing with issues concerning their sexuality have been coming to light. The New York Times series “Coming Out” chronicles of the lives of gay teens as they deal with myriad complex issues. The project includes a written report accompanied by a series of deeply personal videos as well as reader-submitted stories.  The videos show the perspective and voices of those coming to grips with issues revolving around their sexuality. Each individual voice speaks to his or her experiences ranging from intolerance and bullying to religion, finding community and understanding his or her gender identity. Some of the reader-submitted stories are so personal that it is as if we are delving into their diaries.

Gay Heartland
With the royal wedding still fresh in our memories and our country debating same-sex marriage, photographer Chryssa Panoussiadou’s fun video asks the question, “In a democratic society shouldn’t everyone be allowed to marry?

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