n African Journal of Rhetoric - Bogus representation - photographic rhetoric and racially constructed images in SA AIDS discourse

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1998-2054


The aim of this article is to explore how photography represents people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The article focuses on selected pictures on black people of South Africa. This paper argues that representing HIV/AIDS through pictures as images is a complex process; on one hand HIV/AIDS is real, and a metonym of the wasting life captured on the photo image. On the other hand, HIV/AIDS represented on the photographic image is a metaphor commenting and carrying deep symbolic meanings of reality outside the experience of the disease. Negotiating an understanding of HIV/AIDS on photography using the symbolic tropes of metonym and metaphor draws attention to the visual language of photography, and how this is used as a rhetorical devise that in the context of South Africa, has been manipulated to give the impression that HIV/ADS is a disease of black Africans in general, and black African women in particular.

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