Following his inspired June Uganda portrait exhibition at Cleveland’s Harris Stanton Gallery, Matthew Greene of Hudson announces his follow-up photographic exhibition, "Faces of Kabingo ACT 2," at Hudson’s Fine Art and Framing Company, 160 North Main Street, Sept. 20 through Sept. 22.
Proceeds will support Hope for Kabingo, an Ohio-based non-profit that is deeply committed to the villagers in the Kabingo area of Uganda. They are among Africa’s poor and the world’s poorest. An opening event will be Thursday, Sept. 20, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Appetizers and beverages will be served. Beautiful baskets made by the Kabingo Basket Co-op will be available for purchase. Their native clothing, handmade Kabingo gomez dresses, will also be on display. Admission to the exhibition is free. A goodwill offering and basket sales will go to support Hope for Kabingo.
Greene has participated in three Hope for Kabingo mission trips in the remote village of Kabingo, Uganda. He provided Kabingo school children with their first ever school portraits. Last summer he took family portraits, something the villagers had never had, and gave them to the Kabingo families. He also took portraits of individuals, some who had never so much as seen their image in a mirror.
What resulted is an amazing portraiture collection that transports us to Kabingo and provides an intimate, unguarded view of the faces of Kabingo villagers along with a sense for their challenged lives, their toughness, their incredible spirit and their undeniable beauty.
A twelve-year old Kabingo village girl, Mackline Tumissumi, stayed with Greene and his wife, Lisa, for nine months in 2012 at the couple’s Owen Brown Street home, as Mackline had multiple facial reconstruction surgeries from an attack by a wild boar as an infant. Matthew, wife Lisa and Hope for Kabingo co-founder Melissa Auvil will share photos and stories of Mackline, her experiences and current state, during the exhibition.
Kabingo, a little village in southwest Uganda, exists amongst dusty roads and banana fields. The Kabingo region is near the equator with a 1,000-foot elevation. Constant temperatures of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit, low humidity and a perpetual breeze create a very pleasant climate for much of the year. However, alternating wet and dry seasons are being affected by climate change, leading to regular periods of drought.
The region is home to 3,000 villagers most of whom are sustenance farmers. They grow bananas, maize, beans, passion fruit, potatoes and coffee beans. Each day, the children fetch the family’s water supply from shallow wells and muddy ponds. Electricity is just being introduced to the village; otherwise the villagers use paraffin to light their mud brick homes at night.
Foot travel is the most common mode of transportation. Men ride bicycles and use them as carts to push their bananas to market. In July of 2010, a team of 27 Ohioans, mostly from the Cincinnati area, took part in a medical mission trip to Kabingo. Since then, teams of missionaries have returned to Kabingo each summer for roughly two weeks. While the medical team treats thousands of patients for illnesses such as malaria, others hang mosquito nets, teach classes at the primary or secondary schools, work in the pharmacy, or examine eyes.
Whatever the tasks, the mission team meets grateful villagers and delightful children. Hope for Kabingo’s mission is to partner with the villagers of Kabingo to empower them to break the cycle of poverty and provide hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for Kabingo envisions a region where there is real hope for a better life by improved health, educational opportunities for all age groups, reliable food sources and a sustaining economy.
For more information visit MatthewGreenePhotography.com or contact him at email Matthew@Matthew GreenePhotography.com.
Hudson Fine Art and Framing Company hours for Sept. 21 and 22 are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.