New York State Writers InstituteJournalism Program
Steve Hart
teve Hart

"It's a documentary about life. It gets under your skin and stays with you and lives with you and becomes a part of your life." - SH

February 20, 2001
4:00 p.m. Multimedia Presentation

Recital Hall, PAC
UAlbany's Uptown Campus
A Bronx Family Album: The Impact of Aids

Steve Hart used photographic images, interactive technology and videotaped interviews to create A Bronx Family Album: The Impact of Aids, a multi-layered, "interactive documentary" on CD-ROM that tells the true six-year story of a Puerto Rican-American family's struggle with AIDS. Sensa and Ralph, both HIV positive, live with their four children in the South Bronx. Sensa, a crack addict, relies on prostitutions to provide money to support her habit. When Sensa dies, Ralph begins a relationship with a new girlfriend, Lucy, who is HIV negative, but is willing to risk contracting the disease in order to have a baby with Ralph. Arresting photographs of the main subjects and their children over a six year period are integrated with the authors narration, videotaped interviews with all involved, and expert commentary by health care professionals.

Though Hart began his project in 1990 before most interactive technology became available, he knew early on that he wanted it to be a multimedia endeavor. With the passage of time, his material became a natural candidate for presentation on CD-ROM. Indeed, A Bronx Family Album is a pioneering work of interactive nonfiction storytelling that is exerting an important influence on other newcomers to the field.

". . .It's a great medium," Hart told Photo Metro Magazine, "and I'm surprised more photographers haven't used it. It's getting easier, the resolution's better and the equipment's becoming more sophisticated. . . I really hope [my work] encourages other photographers to open up and start utilizing this medium as an art form, using graphics, images, text and sound--there's a whole lot you can do."

Steve Hart's work has been exhibited throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe, and is included in the collections of the Smithsonian Institution, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Museum of the City of New York and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. He is past recipient of numerous awards for photojournalism, including the Leica Medal of Excellence (1987), the Gordon Parks Award (1993), the Infinity Award (1998), and the 1999 Director's Award at the 3rd Tokyo International Photo Biennial (1999).

". . .an important digital creation. . .combines visual and audio data streams into a seamless single medium, with a message unavailable to either component alone." - Vince Leo on A Bronx Family Album

Scala Broadcast Multimedia