Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Jamaican HIV defender murdered on eve of World AIDS Day

Steve Harvey from Christian Aid partner, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL), has been murdered. He ran a programme providing support to gay men and sex workers.>>

Three men, armed with guns, broke into Mr Harvey's house and demanded money. They then forced him to carry valuables into the JASL car parked outside.

One of the gun men was reported to have said to Mr Harvey and his two house-mates: `We hear that you are gay'. Two of the men denied it. They were tied up and left in the house. Steve was forced into the car which then sped away. Two hours later, he was found, shot dead.

Jamaica has one of the highest murder rates in the world. With a population of only 2.7 million people, the country has seen 1,383 murders in 2005 alone. Gun violence is common and homophobia rife.


Victims of homophobic violence are often too scared to appeal to the police for protection. According to Human Rights Watch: `Police actively support homophobic violence, fail to investigate complaints of abuse, and arrest and detain [men] based on their alleged homosexual conduct.'

Last year, the founder of Jamaica's gay rights movement, Brian Williamson, was murdered. Investigators claimed the motive for murder was robbery, since a safe was missing and the apartment ransacked. However, many believe the killing was a hate crime.

Homosexuality is illegal in Jamaica: men convicted of homosexual activity can face ten years' imprisonment with hard labour.

A Christian Aid spokesperson said: 'JASL defends the rights of people who are not considered to have any rights in Jamaica. The work they do is very dangerous.'


Human Rights Watch also states: `Jamaica's growing HIV/AIDS epidemic is unfolding in the context of widespread violence and discrimination against people living with and at high risk of HIV/AIDS, especially men who have sex with men.'

An estimated 1.5 per cent of Jamaicans are living with HIV/AIDs. Although two thirds of HIV transmission is through heterosexual sex, many people still blame gay men for spreading the virus.

On Sunday, Mr Harvey led JASL's annual candle-lit vigil in memory of those killed by HIV. JASL is now mourning the death of one of their strongest defendants of people living with HIV/AIDS.


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Elder Grace: Aging in the Black Gay Community


I'm looking for participants in the New York City area for a new photography/video project I'm embarking on. Basically, I'm searching for black men and women 50 years of age and older to interview (on camera) about their reflections of aging in the black gay community. Portraits will be the foundation of the project, with video and writings as the backbone.

The goal of this project is to shed some light on the issues that affect the large percentage of black gay men aging in America today. Some of the issues I'd like to tackle are love, loss, aging as a single black man/woman, aging as a couple, health, reflections on black gay community over the years, and your dreams, either fulfilled or unfulfilled.

If you are remotely interested in participating in the is project please contact me via my email address at spiritus1@aol.com for more details. If you yourself don't qualify for the project, please feel free to forward this email. To view a sample of my work, please visit my site at http://omorisset.myexpose.com/

Peace & Light for the season and the new year!

Ocean Morisset Photography

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"Side view: Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza", 2005

"Rainy night in Brooklyn II", 2005

"Rainy night in Brooklyn", 2005

Anyone who really knows me knows I LOVE the rain. I love the sound, the look and the feel. Moody days and wet nights make for reflection, introspection and sensuality.

These images are from a few nights ago. I took a break from work and made a run to KFC armed with my Canon Optura 30 video camera. These are my favorite pics out of the ten or so I shot that night. Next time, I'll actually bring my tri-pod out!

A look at Autumn

Autumn is a time for love, color, and transition. I experienced them all on a recent outing to Central Park. Below are some examples of the splendor of Autumn in the park. It was a glorious day for shooting!

"Autumn fruit", 2005

Quintessential autumn", Central Park NYC 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The "Laundry Boy", November 17, 2005

Today i did my laundry. Once I arrived at the laundromat I realized that the only other person doing laudry was a ten year old kid (whose name I did not get, but in this series I call him "laundry boy") . As i said, he's ten years old and he was washing about six large loads of laundry, and doing it well! He tells me he's been washing clothes for his family since he was four, but mastered it at six. :-) Engaging this "laundry boy" in conversation, I asked him if he ever used too much soap, and he said he had, but that he's an "expert" now. This kid reminded me of my own youth. Funny I should do this series reflecting on my youth, one day before my thirty-sixth birthday. Hmmm...
He carried on extensive conversations with himself, was playful, kooky and seriously introspective. I also sensed a caregiver spirit.

How I long to be back at that place of ultimate freedom...the freedom of youth. I will say however, that I'm very much in touch with my inner child. I like to be playful, silly, and laugh...a lot! These have been my "soul" food. It's what nourishes me and keeps me alive, happy and thankful. This is why I'm able to connect with youth. Neither my eyes, nor my heart have stopped being curious about the world around me.

I was happy to have on hand my Canon Optura 30 digicam to shoot these stills. I also have video footage to put together from the "Laundry Boy" series. None of these shots were set-up.

"Hangin' with 'Laundry boy'", Nov. 17 2005

Prob. my favorite shot out of this series.

Posted by True

"In one's own world", 2005

The beauty about youth is that everything fascinates you and brings you joy.

Posted by True

"Laundry boy reading paper next to bubble gum machine", 2005

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"Boy reading the paper next to gumball machine", 2005

I was amazed at how responsible this ten year old kid appeared. He seemed to alternate between being the adult and the child throughout any given moment. Here he's taking a chillout between suds, reading the paper.

Posted by True

"Looking outside, from within" 2005

I like this photo mostly because of its documentary aesthetic. Updloading didnt do any justice.

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"Laundry boy making faces"

This photo represents the epitome of youth. :-)

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"Laundry boy cracking up, making faces"

At this point, this kid was really goofing for the camera.

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"Laundry boy smiling"

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"Laundry boy carrying bag home"

This kid must have done laundry for his entire family of six. He had about six garbage bags full of clothes and carried each one to his home a few blocks away, one by one, all by his ten-year old self.

What a cool kid!

Posted by True

Thursday, October 27, 2005

"Sun peeking from behind the clouds", Havana Cuba, 2003

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"Cuban Jazz Musician on the Malecon", Havana Cuba, 2003

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"Portrait of a Cuban Elder", Havana Cuba, 2003

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"Gigi laughing", Havana Cuba, 2005

Sometimes I use motion in my photographs to reflect an energy. The abstract results allow the viewer to "feel" the image rather than focus on the literal. n

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"Cuban girls dancing to Hip-Hop music", Havana Cuba 2003

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"Cuban couple and sunset", Santiago de Cuba, 2003

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"Woman sitting in construction of apartment complex", Havana Cuba, 2003

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"Commando #1" Havana Cuba, 2003

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

R.I.P Rosa Parks

DETROIT - Rosa Lee Parks, whose refusal to give up her bus seat to a white man sparked the modern civil rights movement, died Monday. She was 92.
Mrs. Parks died at her home of natural causes, said Karen Morgan, a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.
Mrs. Parks was 42 when she committed an act of defiance in 1955 that was to change the course of American history and earn her the title "mother of the civil rights movement."

We have lost a true American Treasure.

Posted by True

Saturday, October 22, 2005

"Untitled Tear", 2005

Posted by True

Monday, October 17, 2005

"Apartment complex", Havana, Cuba 2003

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"R.I.P. Shahid", 2003

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"For Talia", 2003

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Graffiti memorials

In 2003 when my ex and I moved to Bed-Stuy/Bushwick, I began a photo project (one of many) on graffiti memorials. This is a long term project, but here are a few of the shots.

"R.I.P by Chico", 2003

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"Rest in Peace, Paptio", 2003

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"R.I.P. in Bushwick", 2003

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"King and X", Brooklyn 2003

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"Dancer, Tribute to the Ancestors", Coney Island 2004

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"Tribute to the Ancestors" Coney Island 2004

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"Dancer, Tribute to the Ancestors", Coney Island 2004

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"Who's afraid of William Scott?"

Concept shoot.

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Artist Wiliiam Scott

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"Artist Tim'm West", 2005

Photographed at Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast, Washington, D.C.

Posted by True

"Church One Sunday", Gonaives, Haiti 2004

This photo taken shortly after Tropical Storm Jeanne ravaged the city of Gonaives, Haiti. This was a classroom converted to a church. Most of the churches in Gonaives were destroyed.

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Self-portrait: "Climbing out of the hole and into the light", 2001

This was a serious period of introspection and self-discovery for me.

Posted by True

From the archives: Self-portrait, 2001

Carlton Avenue. Fort Greene, Brooklyn

Posted by True