Photographer honored for global health documentary

June 13, 2011
By Chris Saunders

Photographer and executive producer David Evans ’84 has received three Telly awards, which celebrate outstanding work done for television and the Internet, for his film about remedying disease in Africa.

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A New Picture of Health includes personal stories from patients and health care leaders about the impact of Western aid to places like Ethiopia, Rwanda and Indonesia. Evans, who studied environmental design and graphics at the College of Design, produced the film with Dan Carucci, global health vice president of the United Nations Foundation.

The film features work of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in those locations. Evans, who has done work  for National Geographic, the Discovery Channel and the United Nations Foundation, says the film resonates with him because it sends a hopeful message that places like the United States can make a difference, a message that’s sometimes lost in sobering documentaries.

“People are fatigued,” Evans says. “They have AIDS fatigue. Africa fatigue. But the news is that things are better than we think.”

One reason for this hopeful outlook, Evans says, is the Global Fund. Because of it, “Africans, and people around the world, are coming up with self-sustaining ways to treat themselves, coming up with ways to take control of their own villages and lives,” he says.

And, Evans adds, the personal stories in the film can be as powerful as testimonials from people like Bill Gates, Kofi Annan or Bono. Hearing a mother who found out she was HIV positive when she was pregnant discuss how she was able to prevent passing the disease onto her child illustrates that empowerment.

“It’s also extremely gratifying to give voice to the people most affected,” Evans says.

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