Thursday, May 14, 2009

Eating disorders

"Eating disorders among gay men occur at a rate over 15 percent."

Check out this incredible project by Phoebe Sexton, a graduate photo-j student here at the University of Missouri. It's an intimate look inside the life and struggle of Joshua, a 27-year-old gay man who deals with anorexia and bulimia. If you want to see some wonderful photographs accompanied by moving audio, this is definitely worth your time.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Peter from Bolivar, Mo.

This is Peter Davidson. He's a Baptist minister from Bolivar, Mo. who's lived in Columbia for the last two years. He has a lung condition that's carried by poultry and saps his stamina when he can't get out of the house in the winter.

Come summer, though, he gets out and about and tries to build up his endurance. He'll start out with the goal of getting to a particular place – that day it was the library. He shuffles along slowly, leaning on his cane and wheeling his oxygen canister behind him.

He was taking a break when I met him. I was working on my final photo project for Fundamentals about the proposed widening of West Broadway. Peter wants the road to be widened, mainly because he's afraid he's going to get hit by a car one day. The college students that startle him by slowing their cars to yell and honk their horns at him don't help either.

His business card is the most poignant, though. Swathed in the warm orange leaves of a fall afternoon, it says "consolation, comfort and counseling." When you turn it over, you see the simple words, "You are loved."

But who's consoling and comforting him? He lives in an apartment...said he doesn't have any family in the area. Who's there for him? And moreover, what should our responsibility to him as upstanding members of society look like?